SPECIAL COP21 – Eve of Paris summit starring climate demonstrations worldwide

Thousands of people took the streets in several cities around the world on Sunday (Nov. 29) to join a global mobilization urging concrete results to political leaders at the UNFCCC climate negotiation starting in Paris today (Nov. 30).

According to organizers of the People Climate March initiative (composed by a global network of organizations and activist groups), over 570,000 people took part in marches in more than 175 countries.

“The scale and diversity of today’s events are astounding” said May Boeve, 350.org Executive Director. “Worldwide people are ready for the end of fossil fuels and the dawn of renewables. World leaders can no longer ignore this urgent call for action as the climate crisis continues to unfold. It is time for them to stand on the right side of history.”

More than 2,000 events were held in cities including London, Sao Paulo, New York and Asuncion, Paraguay, Reuters reported.

France, host of the COP21 conference, is currently under state of emergency after the terrorist attacks of Nov. 13.
In Paris, where the summit is about to begin at Le Bourget site, authorities banned demonstrations and activists laid out more than 20,000 shoes in the Place de la Republique to symbolize absent marchers.

Demonstrators also formed a human chain through Paris along the 3-km route of the banned march that was planned to start in Place de la Republique.  

French police detained scores of activists after a series of clashes occurred in Place de la Republique, Reuters reported.

Security measures are enforced at Le Bourget site, north of Paris, where around 150 Presidents, Prime Ministers and Heads of States are expected to deliver speeches today (Nov. 30) at the official opening of the COP21.

The Ad Hoc Working Group on the Durban Platform for Enhanced Action (ADP), the body in charge of working on the text of the global climate agreement to be adopted in Paris, resumed its work on Sunday afternoon, “to make the best possible use of the very limited time available to finalize negotiations on the draft Paris Climate Package ”, official notification said.


(Image: Shoes left symbolically in Place de la Republique, Paris, after the French Government banned the Paris Global Climate March, Nov. 29, 2015. Photo credit: 350.org/Flickr)