Pole to Paris reached Cambridge en route the journey to Paris and Cambridge University hosted an event on climate change.
Erlend Knudsen began the evening with the story and inspiration behind the Pole to Paris Campaign.
Erlend Knudsen explains the beginning.
The need to do the campaign in this scale??
Only 57% of the general public believe that climate change is real and happening whereas 99% of climate scientists are sure of it.
Why is he optimistic about a deal being signed in Paris COP21?
- The build up has been good with countries sending in their pledges already.
- The big countries have declared the emission cuts well in advance.
The time to act on climate change is now!!
- There is a need for a deal which incorporates sanctions as we don’t want to end up with another Kyoto protocol.
- The Green Climate Fund is a good thought but it needs to be put in action.
- Everything will fail unless there is a motivation for the people to act!!
James Pope of the British Antarctic Survey spoke next on the climate modelling tools.
The three big Olympic questions on Climate Change
Where are we headed with mean global temperatures?
James Pope talks about the global temperature predictions.
Only the best case scenario (not business as usual) will keep us within the 2deg limit.
And it is also predicted there could be a 10% precipitation difference in Amazon because of climate change which could be catastrophic because Amazon is a massive carbon sink.
It is strange that it took us 21 COPs to agree to a climate change deal argued Tony Juniper a climate change specialist who has seen it all right from the Rio Earth summit in 1992 where it all began.
Tony Juniper delivering the talk
Tony criticised the current UK Govt. for its recent renewable energy policy goof-up. It took them only 6 months to bury our 30 years of work he argued.
Tony believes acting on climate change will not only save the plant but it will also help countries by strengthening the economy (more jobs in the process), enhanced security (energy) and to build resilient cities.
He also went on to discuss what is now referred to as impact on climate change on civil unrest. For more info check “Can climate change spark a war?”
Pippa Heylings of Climate and Development Knowledge Network
describes this situation as a ‘Tipping Point’. She believes our past deeds have now left us with no option but to act.
Pipa Heylings “COP 21 is the biggest experiment in rules making”
The Final Word
How can we make the deal work?
The success of the deal will not depend on what the sanctions are going to be or will it be imposed. It depends on the people and how they act. All the experts were unanimous in their opinion that only people can make the deal a success. They have to believe that every action they do counts. They should be vocal in appraising the progress of their respective governments at regular intervals. Its only peer pressure among the nations that will make the deal click.
Time to act on Climate Change is NOW!!