GUEST: Daphne Wysham, director of the Climate and Energy Program at the Center for Sustainable Economy.
Hundreds of thousands of people marched in cities around the world as the United Nations Conference of Parties kicked off in Paris, France. There were to be massive demonstrations in Paris demanding a global climate agreement, but in the wake of the recent ISIS attacks there which killed 130 people, French President Francois Hollande simply banned the planned marches.
Still, thousands gathered yesterday at the Place de la Republique with French police dispersing them using tear gas. Protesters placed tens of thousands of pairs of shoes at the site to represent those who might have attended if the ban was not in place. Pope Francis reportedly donated a pair of shoes to express his opposition.
President Obama still plans on attending the COP21 summit and has insisted that a global agreement to tackle climate change is necessary and possible. But if past UN climate meetings are any indication, an agreement is a long shot. Here in the US, cities and states are not waiting for national governments to take action – many are taking bold steps on their own. One such city is Portland, Oregon.
For more information, visit sustainable-economy.org.