Cop21: 10 days to save the planet

A mini-Eiffel Tower, a suspended globe and folk in national costume at Le Bourget


Le Bourget is on the outskirts of Paris on the way to Charles de Gaulle airport. It’s an exhibition centre and the biggest domestic event it hosts is an aviation show. That’s a bit of an irony, given that aviation and marine emissions remain outside the scope of current emissions agreements.

The centre is massive and has been milling with thousands of people, between government delegations, the United Nations, environmental organisations and the media. The only inkling that it is in Paris is a mini Eiffel Tower that has been erected at the end of the main walkway (yep, called Champs-Élysée).

There are some impressive exhibitions that have been mounted by governments. These include the US offering: a suspended globe with animated graphics on the map of the effect of climate change over past (and future) centuries; it’s like looking at an Imax movie in miniature.

There are lots of people from smaller countries in indigenous costume. Many do traditional singing and dancing. The joy disguises the concern of their delegations as they will be the first to suffer with an increase in global temperature.



In the name of climate action

U2’s alma mater, Mount Temple Comprehensive School in Clontarf,

Dublin, is continuing in a tradition of producing musicians with a social conscience, as shown by a new video recorded for COP21.

Almost 40 years after Larry Mullen posted an ad on a school noticeboard looking to form a band, Mount Temple students Louis Butler Lynch and Éanna Ó Suibhne have produced a politically charged tune that would make Bono proud. Bid for a Better Planet is written and performed by the duo, accompanied by their classmates.

“We’re becoming wealthy on the backs of others,” one pupil declares.

“What will the world look like when we’re your age?” another young voice asks.

Quotes of the day

“Climate change could define the contours of this century more than any other [challenge]. I came here personally to say the United States not only recognises the problem but is committed to do something about it.” – US president Barack Obama

“The world is looking to you. The world is counting on you.” – Christiana Figueres, head of the UNFCC