By Amy Goodman & Denis Moynihan
On Dec. 12, nearly 200 nations approved the “Paris Agreement.” The 32-page document spells out humanity’s new, official plan to confront the crisis of climate change. The accord was negotiated in a secure facility in the Paris suburb of Le Bourget. Public demonstrations across France were banned under the “state of emergency” imposed after the Nov. 13 terrorist attacks in Paris that killed 130 people. Activists defied the ban, saying that same phrase, “state of emergency,” describes the planet’s climate. Protests, at times violently repressed by police, occurred throughout the two-week United Nations summit, as people from around the world demanded a fair, ambitious and binding climate treaty to avert the worst consequences of global warming.
“What I see is an agreement with no timetables, no targets, with vague, wild aspirations,” British journalist George Monbiot told me two days after the talks ended. “I see a lot of back-slapping, a lot of self-congratulation, and I see very little in terms of the actual substance that is required to avert climate breakdown.”