Climate Action Moreland activist to attend UN Paris Climate Talks with CANA
These are extraordinary times with enormous changes in society required to reduce emissions to mitigate climate change in the future and also adapt to the rising temperatures, sea levels and extreme weather events already occurring now and in the pipeline due to the enormous inertia in the climate system. One of our members, John Englart, will be travelling to Paris with his teenage daughter, to attend the United Nations Paris climate conference, known as the 21st Conference of the Parties or more simply as COP21.
There will be huge protests in Paris on the same weekend we march in Melbourne and in cities around the world, and a further Paris mobilization protest on December 12 immediately after the conference, no matter the result of negotiations.
We have seen too little results and many failures from 21 years of diplomatic process. Free Trade talks proceed and are often concluded with great rapidity by comparison. Free trade that primarily benefits corporate wealth has been given far more importance from our politicians than a safe climate that benefits everyone and particularly future generations.
John and Tarryn will be in Paris to document and report from the streets and civil society events.
But more than this. John Englart will join the Climate Action Network Australia (CANA) NGO official delegation to the conference to observe proceedings. He will have access to main conference plenaries and walk the same corridors as world leaders and diplomats. He will be reporting and posting to his own blog, to the nofibs website, on his own twitter account (@takvera) and will even use Climate Action Moreland’s twitter account (@camoreland) to post occasional updates, and sending updates to social communities on Google Plus and Australian and international Facebook groups he is a member of.
Part of John’s mission in attending the conference will be watching and reporting on Australia’s negotiating position during the conference. The Australian targets announced in August and submitted as an INDC (PDF) to the United Nations were heavily criticized by Climate Action Tracker as at least half as much as the minimum commitment we should have aimed for as our fair share to limit planetary global warming. Even modelling done for the government showed we could double these targets to 45 per cent emissions cut on 2005 levels with minimal reduction to GDP growth.
We have changed Prime Ministers since these targets were announced, but new Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has already signified no change in climate policy for the Paris talks.
Climate change has been of considerable interest to John over many years. He has been blogging on the issue as a citizen journalist for over 10 years, reading widely on climate science, climate policy and attending and writing about climate protests both here in Melbourne and occasionally protest stories from abroad.
The Herald Sun did a story on John and Tarryn’s crowd-funding for their trip in April: Fawkner dad and daughter crowd-funding way to United Nations Paris climate conference.
They raised enough money to cover their accommodation and living expenses while in Paris for the time of the conference. They have also been attending tree planting sessions by Friends of Merri Creek and Merri Creek Management Committee to offset their flight emissions in travelling to Europe and back.
The official Crowdfunding campaign raised $1405.00. Donations were made from members of John’s family, friends, members of Climate Action Moreland, journalists, and even some international social media acquaintances and from anonymous donors. Here is a list of people who helped make the trip possible: Colleen Jones $50.00, Paul Englart $200.00, Sandra Hawkins $50.00, SallyRose Carbines $100.00, margarita windisch $100.00, Anonymous $50.00, Paddy Manning $100.00, Anonymous $50.00, Paul Davis $100.00, Anonymous $20.00, Yoland Wadsworth $50.00, Michael Stanley $50.00, John Irving $50.00, Susie Russell $100.00, Elizabeth Story $20.00, Bronwyn Plarre $100.00, Robert Page $100.00, Robert de Laet $50.00, Anonymous $15.00, Andrea Bunting $50.00. Outside of the site, Greg and Christine contributed $100 and John’s surviving parent June Englart also contributed generously to the costs of the trip.
Another story appeared in the Moreland Leader in April 2015: Eco-bloggers report from Paris
You can follow John’s reports at his climate blog, at citizen journalism site nofibs.com.au, photography site on flickr, or his twitter account (@takvera) and on Youtube. He may also be posting using Climate Action Moreland’s twitter account (@camoreland) and here on this blog.