Catherine Gautier-Downes, Special Correspondent
Santa Barbara Independent
Soon on my way to Paris to report on COP21 (http://www.cop21.gouv.fr/en)…
The 21st session of the Conference of the Parties (COP) of the UN Framework Convention for Climate Change (UNFCCC) will be held in Paris Nov 30 – Dec 11, 2015. Its goal is to achieve a legally binding and universal agreement on climate, with the goal of keeping global warming below 2°C. The conference is expected to attract close to 50,000 participants including 25,000 official delegates from government, intergovernmental organizations, UN agencies, NGOs and civil society.
A serious business for French people
The French government and the civil society are taking France’s role as host country very seriously and proudly (no surprise there), as if they were hosting the Olympic Games. With extensive pre-meeting media coverage and every science communicator on deck, France is helping her citizens better understand what is at stake with climate and how to act to face climate change. Climate scientists are intervening in schools (from primary grade to university level) and giving conferences in all corners of the country. Several of them will even embark on a specially chartered train as “Messengers of Climate” (www.messagersduclimat.com), going through the major cities of France from Oct 6-25 offering the public at large the opportunity to learn, ask questions and contribute to the general discussion.