Paris Climate Change Conference: Hopes for Tomorrow & Today

ourkidsclimatephotosDear Tomorrow: “We tried…but no one paid attention.”

Is that what we will tell our children and grandchildren? We tried, but the world was paralyzed. No, we must and we will tell them we stayed the course, and the world changed. In December 2015, world governments, mayors, parlimentarians, environmental and justice organizations, indigenous people from all over the world, moms, dads, and caring and concerned individuals came to Paris for the United Nations Climate Conference. Outside of the main conference rooms where government representatives worked through the night hammering out language for the final conference agreement, all others came to Paris to bear witness – to show our commitment and sustained demands for climate solutions. Those in Paris are supported by millions of us around the world who understand and who are deeply alarmed, concerned and saddened about our future, our today and what is happening to the world.

At the same time as the Paris Climate Conference is taking place, temperatures hover in the mid-50’s and could reach the mid 60’s in the New York metropolitan area – no snow has fallen yet this holiday season and temperatures have been 10-15 degrees above normal. Many people are thrilled with the warmer than usual weather. The morning news programs talk about the “perfect shopping weather” as people leave their homes in light jackets; their seasonal boots, mittens, winter coats and scarves still stored away in their unopened “winter storage boxes.” The weather isn’t normal, and we must help people connect the dots.

Used with permission; photos by: Joel Lukhovi | Survival Media Agency

Used with permission; photos by: Joel Lukhovi | Survival Media Agency

It isn’t easy though to keep people’s sustained attention on our changing climate and on the critical need for solutions and actions. The big “asks” in Paris and the main hoped for outcomes include: keeping temperature rise to 2.0 or more hopefully 1.5 degrees C above preindustrial levels; and for governments to set a concrete goal, that will allow the world to transition to 100% renewable energy by mid-century. These are critical and extremely important goals for governments to agree on. Once decided, we then can keep constant pressure on at home; holding our governments accountable to these commitments. But for many people, grasping the difference between 1.5 and 2 degrees seems insignificant, and transitioning off of fossil fuels anytime soon seems like someone else’s job and a job for the distant future.

We know that you – our Climate Mamas and Papas – care and understand the urgencies we face. We also understand and accept that United Nations conferences, even ones like COP21 which is happening now in Paris, can only do so much. The burden and the opportunities then fall to us, to follow through at home, at work, at school and with everyone we know, as we work together to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions and live more lightly on our planet. We know we must do this so that our children have a hope for a better tomorrow and today.

To inspire you and give you hope we leave you with this wonderful video message from DearTomorrow’s co-director and co-founder Trisha Shrum. Trisha created this video for her two year old daughter, direct from COP21 in Paris. This video is part of the DearTomorrow photo promises project where people can commit to one new action they will take on climate change for 2016 in honor of a young loved one. To participate in the project: think about an action you will take that makes sense for you, write it down starting “Dear_____, I promise to_____. then take a selfie with the promise, and submit it to You can also submit letters and videos for the project.

It’s “Do Something Wednesday” at Climate Mama. Share your thoughts and hopes with your child and the world today; let your child know that you are staying the course and taking action on climate change now while we still have time to change tomorrow, today.

ourkidsclimatelogoClimateMama is thrilled to have teamed up with Dear Tomorrow and many other wonderful parent focused groups from around the world to create Our Kids Climate, just in time for the Paris Climate Conference. Our Kids Climate is a growing international coalition of parent and grandparent groups from around the world who have come together to demand bold action to protect the children we love from catastrophic climate change. Learn more about our efforts here.


Climate Mama

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