Why COP21 is an International Political Tipping Point

Unlike any other global climate or environment conference I’ve covered over the years, civil society and the activist community this time around is genuinely enthused about the Paris Climate Talks. Cautious optimism seems to be prevailing mood. For a UN climate confab, this is…unusual.

I asked the leader of one of the most important and largest global climate activist organizations, May Boeve of 350.org, why that is? And her reply is interesting and telling. Boeve says that we are in the midst of a political tipping point in the international debate about climate change and Paris is the latest manifestation of this historic moment.

I caught up with Boeve while she was in Paris during the first week of the talks and we discuss some of the issues she was following closely as the talks enter a more technical phase.  But we have a deeper conversation about the role of activism in bringing delegates to this point and what the activist community has planned for after Paris.

For those of you interested in the particulars on the Paris talks, you will be sure to get a lot out of this conversation. Even if you are less interested in the minutia of climate politics, this episode offers a fascinating insight into the role of civil society and activism in shaping the outcome of a major international negotiation.

The role of civil society in the Paris climate talks is sure to be the subject of PhD thesis for decades to come. This conversation shows you why.

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