Impressive Paris COP 21 Climate Change Meeting

Dateline: November 29, 2015

It’s the evening of November 29, 2015, and M. Laurent Fabius, COP 21 President, was in the building at Le Bourget, a few kilometers outside of Paris, where the momentous COP 21 meeting was to take place.

The site of the meeting was at the edge of the airport where Charles Lindbergh landed on his historic flight across the Atlantic.

M. Fabius was speculating to himself that the meeting, beginning tomorrow, would be more historic than Lindbergh’s flight.

Aviation had come a long way since then, but it had also contributed to global warming and climate change. All the contrails in the sky represented CO2 emissions that were destroying the earth’s climate.

This meeting would change all that.

President Obama had made important contributions to the upcoming meeting. All 195 countries had submitted their Climate Action Plans ahead of the conference.

Christiana Figueres, executive secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCC), was quoted earlier as saying,

“The stars are aligning towards a Paris agreement that will establish a pathway that keeps us within the limit of 2C.”

Of course, Ms. Figures had raised some eyebrows earlier because her comments had attacked capitalism, but most people had forgotten that she said,

“This is probably the most difficult task we have ever given ourselves, which is to intentionally transform the economic development model, for the first time in human history. This is the first time in the history of mankind that we are setting ourselves the task of intentionally, within a defined period of time, to change the economic development model that has been reigning for the, at least, 150 years, since the industrial revolution.”

M. Fabius had broad diplomatic experience, and had been a participant in the Iranian nuclear negotiations. He believed the event to be held tomorrow at Le Bourget would be far more important.

He was grateful for the successful outcome of the Financing for Development Agreement reached in Addis Ababa in July, where developed countries, including the United States, had committed to jointly contribute $100 billion every year to address the needs of developing countries.

$100 billion every year was a lot of money.

China of course, as a developing country, would be a recipient, and that would help China cut its CO2 emissions after 2030.

Le Bourget is the site of France’s national Air and Space Museum, and a giant Jumbotron had been set up in the main building at one end of the museum.

France's National Air and Space Museum
France’s National Air and Space Museum

This was important, because there would be no delegates at this meeting.

The fact their wouldn’t be a single delegate, other than the French delegation, was a remarkable achievement.

The headlines had been, “Representatives of all 195 signatory countries would not send delegates to COP 21.”

Instead, each country would assemble its group of representatives in each capital where a similar Jumbotron had been set up. A Jumbotron, for example, had been set up at the Udvar-Hazy Space Museum Annex near Dulles Airport, outside Washington DC, where the U.S. delegation would assemble.

The marvel of technology would allow the meeting to take place without tens of thousands of people flying to Paris.

Each COP meeting in the past, which had been held annually, had involved around 10,000 participants, and often included a parallel meeting involving thousand of other people.

COP 20 in Peru, for example, had seen the People’s Summit that involved the mobilization of a wide range of international organizations and movements, including environmental, religious, artistic and cultural groups.

The media reported 15,000 people had demonstrated against the capitalist system.

News photo of marchers demanding climate commitments in defense of Mother Earth
News photo of marchers demanding climate commitments in defense of Mother Earth

The organizers of COP 21 did not want a repeat of the People’s March during the Paris conference.

While the merchants in Paris, including shop owners, and owners of restaurants and nightclubs, and their employees, in the city of bright lights, had objected, the UNFCCC organizers had felt it was time to use technology to cut CO2 emissions.

This meeting would eliminate the enormous quantity of CO2 emissions from airplanes, taxis and limousines used by delegates, the press and members of NGOs, such as Greenpeace.

COP 21 would not only result in an important agreement on Climate Change, it would set an example for others to follow.

No longer would there be large COP meetings, with thousands in attendance. No longer would billions be spent on bringing thousands of people together to march and demonstrate, as well as attend meetings. These marches and demonstrations had become a significant component of COP meetings, and some observers had criticized the UNFCCC for being so wasteful.

Tomorrow would be a truly great day.


“The foregoing was the draft of a news article that might have been prepared in anticipation of COP 21. Unfortunately, it is not likely that the delegates and other participants would want to forego the spectacle of a conference and the nightlife that would accompany it.”

“It’s also unlikely that the 195 governments would forego the opportunity to spend millions of dollars, all of which would come from the pockets of ordinary people, on a meeting where each participant would have an opportunity to parade before the media and pontificate on their individual achievements and the ugliness of capitalism.”

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