The Climate Reality Project announced its Road to Paris effort last week. This is a major international campaign that will bring together citizens, business leaders, non-profit organizations, and NGOs to galvanize climate action. It will also encourage countries at December’s United Nations’ Framework Convention on Climate Change’s 21st Conference of the Parties in Paris to sign a strong emissions reductions agreement. This would include meaningful emissions reductions commitments based on national circumstances, a system of periodic review for these commitments, and a long-term goal of net zero carbon emissions.
South Africa holds strategic significance for upcoming negotiations
Road to Paris focuses on mobilizing public support from the global community and citizens in eight countries that hold strategic significance for the upcoming negotiations, as a building block for a strong international agreement. Target countries include South Africa, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, India, Philippines and the United States. The Climate Reality Project will also have a programmatic presence in Mexico and Europe.
“The UN climate negotiations in December mark a crucial opportunity for the international community to come to a bold, universal agreement to make significant emissions reductions commitments, including a long term goal for zero net carbon emissions,” said former United States Vice President Al Gore, chairman of The Climate Reality Project. “But the Road to Paris will not end at COP21, and we cannot afford to gamble with the future of our planet. Solutions to the climate crisis are within reach, but in order to capture them, we must take urgent action today across every level of society. Now is the time for people all over the world to lend their voices to the cause and urge their leaders to take this historic first step.”
The Climate Reality Project’s Road to Paris campaign will build on work the group has already undertaken in each key country. In South Africa this is through the African Climate Reality Project which started after the training of over 700 Climate Leaders in Johannesburg a year ago.
Government to commit and submit intention of 40% renewables
The African Climate Reality Project’s Road to Paris campaign includes urging and supporting the South African government and negotiators to commit to and submit the country’s Intended Nationally Determined Contribution timeously, and a call for 40% renewable energy by 2030. The latter is extremely relevant as South Africa’s energy crisis continues.
With the support of Climate Reality headquarters and in coordination with other environmental groups, African Climate Reality Project will employ social/digital and earned media tactics to educate and mobilize communities, hold events, and offer practical suggestions for grassroots actions people can take to support and strengthen the commitments of our government. Climate Reality’s partnership with Live Earth: Road to Paris will also play a significant role in the campaign and serve as a rallying point for in-country programs this summer. A Live Earth concert will be held in Durban in June.
“This year stands to be a critical turning point where the world comes together to address climate change,” said Climate Reality Project President and CEO Ken Berlin. “As a leading international climate organization with nearly 5,700 trained Climate Reality Leaders in these eight countries alone, it is our responsibility to do everything we can to help spur action around the globe, providing support and guidance to the most critical players on the Road to Paris.”