Green Team to send UWE students to join activists in Paris.

New global agreements for climate change to be set in Paris. Image by  Ralph - Pixabay.
New global agreements for climate change to be set in Paris. Image by Ralph – Pixabay.

The 21st Conference of Parties (COP21) is due to take place in Paris from November 30th to December 11th 2015 to negotiate a potential new global agreement on climate change. It will be the 11th meeting since the 1997 Kyoto protocol and the governments of over 190 countries are due to attend.

There have been clear warnings from the scientific community that, if greenhouse gas emissions continue to rise and the planet exceeds 2°C of warming above pre-industrial temperatures, we could pass the threshold for dangerous climate change. Current trajectories suggest we are on course for closer to 5°C. Existing emissions agreements expires in 2020, so it is hoped that governments will negotiate deals for the following decade and beyond.

The infamous COP15 in Copenhagen left world leaders including Barack Obama, red faced as international media reported on the final day of the conference in 2009 that climate talks were in disarray. As a result, high-level ministers will attend Paris in their place with the newly granted power to sign new agreements on behalf of their nations. French hosts are confident that a deal can be reached.

The conference is expected to attract thousands of climate activists to Paris for a series of discussions and daily assemblies, public performances, mass mobilisations and creative action. Joining them will be a select few students from UWE, hand-picked by the SU’s Green Team. Their goal is to inspire creative action in Bristol. SciTech contributor and 3rd year Environmental Resource Management student Natalie Selwood will be amongst the group making the trip to Paris and will be documenting the event to produce an in-depth report exclusively for Western Eye.

As with previous COP meetings, it is hoped that COP21 will hold the key to the challenge of climate negotiations. Look out for SciTech’s critical analysis in your January issue.

By Mark Nichols