World Team Now!

World Team Now-Environmental & Social Transformation

Category: Earth Day

Historical Earth Day-15 Ratify, 175 U.N. Members Signed the Paris Agreement ©

By Suzanne Maxx
© 2016 World Team Now

Inside the United Nations looking out- Photo Credit World Team Now/Suzanne Maxx

Inside the United Nations looking out- Photo Credit World Team Now/Suzanne Maxx

 

New York, New York USA Today at the United Nations 175 Countries signed the Paris Climate Agreement on opening day, Earth Day! Our World Team project is especially grateful for the leadership on the first 15 United Nations members that both signed and Ratified the Paris Agreement by Earth Day.  This is a critical step to have the legal governmental framework for the revolutionary work to move towards our “100% Renewable Energy” global vision.

 

applaud-15

Original design  © 2016 World Team Now

 

The most vulnerable Small Island Developing States (SIDS) know the reality of Climate Change, ironically they have to bare the most severe effects of the most developed regions actions.  Secretary General of the United Nations Ban Ki Moon’s request for “All hands on deck,” from all U.N. members, comes to relevance especially in places like Fiji.



Fiji’s Prime Minister Josaia Voreqe (Frank) Bainimarama

Video: UN Web TV footage

 

Just recovering from Tropical Cyclone Winston, with another threat coming at them now, Fiji’s Prime Minister Josaia Voreqe (Frank) Bainimarama was front and center, contributing and bringing the gravel down to close the day’s session.  Republic of Palau’s President, Tommy Esang Remengesau Jr. captured the spirit of this time proclaiming,   “On days like this you feel like you are part of a team”.

World Team has been on a long journey and search for a location that is eager to make that renewable energy transition.  The Small Island Developing States (SIDS) need all the support we can give, and they hold the most promise for World Team project’s public work. SIDS are the most impacted and have the least. When we realize that over 62,000 people are displaced daily from climate or weather related events, it is stunning. Climate change refugees are growing. The funding coming from the Green Climate Fund (GCF) will help, but that support needs to have been there yesterday.

For the Paris Agreement to come into force, 55% of the UN’s members must sign and ratify it, and this must account for at least 55% of the global greenhouse gas emissions. All members have a year, until Earth Day 2017- but obviously, the sooner the better.

Each country created their own Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDC) for the Paris Agreement, their status is here. Next we need all the INDC to become Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC). These contributions are required to be ambitious and progressive, to be updated, increased, and submitted to the U.N. every five years.

The fundamental step of putting the governmental framework into place is happening; the nations are coming up with determined commitments for our species and our planet to help tackle the climate change challenge.  Although what was started in Paris in 2015 is growing with efforts like the Renewable Energy Innovation Plan for Africa; the 70 Initiatives to find a broader solutions; Mission Innovation for Green Technology, and the Carbon Pricing Leadership.  We all realize that this cannot be done by nations alone.

It will take many sectors to build to the change that is sustainable. The action of the signing sends signals to all markets. Some illuminating information was announced and shared over the course of the day. “Taking climate action to the next level: Realizing the vision of the Paris Agreement” was the title for the afternoon.

Key financial and business pledges are being made by entities teaming up to further the global goals of the Paris Agreement.  Anne Stausboll, representing CalPERS, the largest U.S. public pension fund with almost 300 billion dollars in assets gave the update; watch here. She shared that Ceres, a nonprofit organization leading adoption of sustainable business practices, has joined forces with the CalPERS pension fund, the UN-supported Principles for Responsible Investment, and the Global Investor Coalition on Climate Change. To mobilize the Paris Agreement, 400 investors with 24 trillion dollars in assets have been enrolled. “To achieve the goals of the Agreement, we know the world must invest at least one trillion dollars a year in clean energy for several decades,” she explained, “The Agreement has unleashed an unprecedented opportunity for institutional investors worldwide – a powerful global green light to shape tomorrow’s low-carbon economy.”

The Green Climate Fund which came out of the Paris Agreement is targeted to 100 billion a year in aid to developing countries. President Obama has pledged $3 billion to the GCF over four years. The first $500 million of that pledged amount was transferred. Countries are all together rising to action.  The efforts of the two biggest emitters USA/China is supported by their agreement to one another.

Canada addresses the Opening Ceremony of the High-Level Event for the Signature of the Paris Agreement

Canada addresses the Opening Ceremony of the High-Level Event for the Signature of the Paris Agreement
Credit: UN Photo

 

Canada’s Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, explained his country is committed to helping developing countries, “Since they should not be punished for a problem they did not create.” Canada’s  $2.56  Billion (USD) pledge is good kindling to ignite a fire of support to assist developing countries to grow to be cleaner, and more sustainable.

Hoesung Lee from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) shared about how they have accepted the task to integrate science into implementation phase and submit mission reports on “Climate Change and Land Use,” plus reports on “Ocean and Ice”.  In two years they will turn in a report that studies whether emissions targets of 1.5 degrees is the magic number that could halt the growing catastrophic effects of climate change, to see if that is indeed enough action. Private, public, businesses, NGOs financial sectors, and all citizens are all needed to team up, as people come to realize prompt action needs to begin now.

CEO of Unilever Paul Polman highlighted how the business and financial sector are lining up to address climate change:

A report by the New Climate Economy stated 90 trillion will be going to be made over the next 15 years in addressing urbanization and population growth issues and 13.5 trillion is already pledged for clean energy investments, which he said is a “good direction”.

The business and financial sector is making progress with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Unilever’s CEO emphasized that climate change is key to 13 of the 17 SDGs. Now to “level” (pun intended) the playing field with energy sectors.  Positive price signals are needed and a subsidy is a negative price signal. We love that the sentiment from Unilever’s leader who said, “That is a negative price on carbon when we need a positive price.” That statement was echoed throughout Earth Day from many speakers. The message to cut fossil fuel subsides, and create a carbon market was clear, and consistently delivered throughout all sectors on Earth Day.

Mary Robinson, former President of Ireland and renowned campaigner of human rights and climate justice. It was lovely to see most speakers wearing the pin with the logo of the colorful SDGs.

Mary Robinson, former President of Ireland and renowned campaigner of human rights and climate justice. It was lovely to see most speakers wearing the pin with the logo of the colorful SDGs. Picture: Captured from UN Web TV footage

 

Mary Robinson declared, “The world must target for 1.5 degrees or below rise and that requires carbon neutrality at, or before 2050. She was empathetic on pointing out that with the Paris Agreement, developing countries now have more responsibility in addressing climate change as each nation has to evaluate their NDCs— the annex 1 or annex 2 countries distinction made in the past is no longer …

Climate Opening

Opening ceremony of Paris Agreement signing
Credit: UN Photo

 

This year’s Earth Day had many events leading up to the big focus of 24 hours of U.N. festivities in New York.  Once again, there were powerful contributions from many of the people instrumental through the World Team journey— champions of the environmental movement over the many years coming together: especially California Gov. Jerry Brown, former US Vice President Al Gore, and even our friend Bertrand Piccard via live web stream from the cockpit of SolarImpulse2  in flight to San Francisco-the next leg of the around the world flight in the solar airplane!  Bertrand said, “More than protecting the environment, it’s the clean technology revolution, the solar airplane is like a smart grid with distributed energy”.  He encouraged leaders saying in the webstream, “Be pioneers for solutions, don’t let resistance take over…”

at the Waldof Astroia during REFF Wall Street in 2013, Andre and Bertrand with World Team Now's Suzanne Maxx.

Andre and Bertrand, pilots of Solar Impulse, with World Team Now’s Suzanne Maxx.

 

Actor, Activist and U.N. Messenger of Peace, Leonardo Di Caprio reminded leaders of their power in choice quoting President Lincoln, “Our case is new, so we must think a new, and act anew.”  He drew the parallel analogy of the defining issue of our time, between being free of fossil fuel, to the past, in being free from slavery. He explained, “Everyone knew it had to end, but no one had the political will to stop it.”  In regards to bold Climate action he exclaimed, “You will either be lauded by future generations, or vilified by them…”



Leonardo Di Caprio inspires leaders to create power for just action.
Video: UN Web TV footage

 

In addition to U.N. member states, states like California are taking significant action on their own. Once again, World Team Now based in New York and California was excited to hear from our Gov. Jerry Brown who spoke about some of the key steps that California has taken and will take— including their own cap and trade program that is also connected with Quebec and Ontario. Al Gore, in comments he made after the afternoon panel Jerry was on, pointed out that California’s leadership under Jerry is from a position of influence— he explained, “If California was a country it would be the 5th largest economy in the world.”



Governor Jerry Brown of California speaks at the Paris Agreement at signing at the United Nations on Earth Day April 22nd.
Video: UN Web TV footage

 

Some of the highlights from New York Mayor de Blasio’s speech shared the commitment to having every new car in New York’s City’s fleet being an electric with the goal of an electric fleet by the year 2025. Retrofits are required in both public and now private buildings and new buildings will have to be 60-80% more efficient than existing buildings.

In India, every light bulb is required to be LED, with the program launched by the government they have driven the cost down for the bulbs by economic demand, and now they are cheaper than other kinds of light bulbs, now priced about 80 cents and about 100 million have been installed  Germany plans to be fossil fuel free by 2050.

President Barack Obama welcomed the signing of the climate agreement and said it will allow all of “our children to inherit a cleaner, healthier, and safer planet.” He said in a statement on Earth Day, “As the world’s second-largest source of  climate pollution, America has a responsibility to act. The stakes are enormous — our planet, our children, our future.

John Kerry Signs Paris Agreement With Granddaughter on Lap High-Level Event for the Signature of the Paris Agreement

John Kerry Signs Paris Agreement With Granddaughter on Lap
High-Level Event for the Signature of the Paris Agreement
Credit: UN Photo

 

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, signed the historical agreement, ensuring it be witnessed by future generations by having his 2-year-old granddaughter Isabelle on his lap. Kerry followed up on President Obama’s Announcement which proclaims that the United States “looks forward to formally joining this agreement this year.”

The two largest carbon emitters, China and US have a plan, and together they look to be turning the tide to insure positive change . Regardless of USA domestic politics both countries have signed and plan to ratify the Paris Agreement.

It has been many years of attending these United Nations Climate events (COPs) dreaming that we could come to an agreement, sign it, and move into action. That day has come, it is here. World Team has been active with Earth Day for decades, but this was the first Earth Day that the distant dream for the global action by world leaders is being realized.

What an action packed period of time, this time has been, with record breaking action from countries around the world, and it’s about time. The pace is set we need for climate action, and the global renewable energy revolution, and it is happening, and it can’t happen quick enough. The 17 Sustainable Development Goals are all interrelated and helpful to have delineated. 


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vp3LQrbh-Wo

Secretary General of the United Nations Ban Ki Moons called for all hands on deck to: "Turn Aspiration Into Action" - Countries Sign Paris Climate Agreement.
Video: UN Web TV footage

 

It was lovely to see most speakers wearing the pin with the logo of the colorful SDGs. We are enthusiastic about the platform World Team will offer for all people as tool for engagement.  We can see this renewable energy revolution is happening, but it will take a team, all of us. We have much to celebrate, yet much to do for humanity to live in balance with our resources and one another here on earth.



United Nations - "Protecting our Planet and Combatting Climate Change" is part of a UN short film series "The Story You are Shaping" produced by HUMAN, which premiered at the UN Sustainable Development Summit 2015.
Video: UN Web TV footage

 

Photo highlights of of the UN High-Level Signature Ceremony for the Paris Agreement on Climate Change can be found here and a text highlights of the ceremony can be found here. Below are some selected UN videos of the Ceremony:

© 2016 World Team Now

Earth days? Or an Era of Conscious Choice About Climate

In these days, times, call them “sacred” days, or “Holy days”— named differently, depending on religion or region of our world, but commonly viewed as Holidays!  Regardless of yours, we are wishing you happy ones!

World Team Now is an organization that is part of the TckTckTck global climate action campaign

World Team Now® is an organization that is part of the TckTckTck global climate action campaign.

The days are going faster blurring into years, beyond decades— more like an Era. This Era is different.  The question of our species’ future existence here on planet earth is up.  If you think this statement is extreme, read, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change just released groundbreaking report on the impacts of climate change.  We need to begin to take immediate #ClimateAction, as scientists have declared from now to 2040 “The Era of Climate Responsibility”

Urgent Climate Action is needed not just for global leaders who could ratify game changing public policy, but also for us each to choose to prioritize action now with our choices.Take Action Memes

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change just released a groundbreaking report on the impacts of climate change.

The report details the harsh realities of a warming planet, including increased food shortages, more floods, droughts and greater levels of poverty. Many of these impacts are already being felt around the world. U. N. ‘s IPCC report scientifically spells out the cause of the threat, also focuses on renewable energy solutions— calling  again for urgent Climate Action.  If you want some highlights of the of the IPCC report, check out WTN’s blog post on the IPCC report .

“Years of Living Dangerously,” a new television series that premiered this past Sunday, powerfully documents the real stories behind climate change and breaks through many myths that disrupt understanding about  humanity and earth’s reality.  It transcends usual bi-partisan and religious divides, which unfortunately are often associated with comprehension of Climate Change. If you missed it, or want to see it again the link to watch the Series Premiere is here. We think it is fabulous.

Blood Red Full Moon

Blood Red Full Moon
© World Team Now® (WTN) 2014. All rights reserved.

Recently many of us witnessed a Total Lunar Eclipse of the Blood Red Full Moon! Amazing is the grace of these natural cycles.  Clearly both the IPCC’s latest report and the television series deliver the same message in different ways, about the distinction between man’s choices and how we are indeed influencing natural cycles, yet have choice. World Team Now® looks at these times as a chance to exercise the wisdom we have in order to be better stewards of our planet.

20120722_202101

The Beauty of Malibu

Reflecting on the Word Team Now®’s local campaign, the Natural Beauty of Malibu, and how we have a choice to use our world’s resources, are we, as humanity, individually doing our best, with our home planet?   Is the way we have organized our lives, in the context of the natural world, sustainable?   This is the driver behind the World Team Project— to show a different way.  For now, we have been working to demonstrate change by choosing renewable energy solutions to raise public awareness about one’s personal choice, and collectively, the responsibility we have, not only for the next generations, but also for our species at large.

It all becomes easier when it is a team effort.  World Team Now is teaming up with the local community in Malibu for another annual Earth Day event.   Come join us on April 27th— the details are here.  Click here to learn more about the history of Earth day, or find the nearest Earth day event for you, on the Earth Day Network.

World Team Now® understands that energy is a key, renewable energy wherever possible but especially in the transportation and the building sectors, plus teaming up to make it happen at the speed to meet the challenge.  The more renewable energy solutions that  we can find to combat the present sources of dirty extracted energy, the less chance of political unrest, civil war, famine, hunger, and drought, and other unthinkable extreme atrocities that can be brought on by Climate Change.

PV60 Event April 18th in Palo Alto, CA

PV60 Event April 18th in Palo Alto, CA

So days, like the one called “Earth Day” is  just like a birthday— it is what you make of it.  Celebratory and yet confronting, at least Earth day is a day for humanity to realize what the earth gives us. The promise of the Holidays associated with this time of year promise a resurrection, a passing over from one land into the next, a blooming— a coming to spring forward, fertility or ripe season— so are you ready for 100% Renewable Energy?  We are. What about a time of global transformation? Another step is we’re a supporting partner for the PV60 event in Silicon Valley’s Palo Alto, to celebrate 60 years of Solar Energy.  Go 100% Renewable Energy!

Solutions to the climate crisis are available now – a world powered by 100%  renewable energy is possible.  Aspen, Colorado is one of many towns, cities, businesses and other institutions  switching to 100% clean, renewable energy.  The solutions are here, now we just need leaders willing to take #ClimateAction.

Solutions to the climate crisis are available now – a world powered by 100% renewable energy is possible. Aspen, Colorado is one of many towns, cities, businesses and other institutions switching to 100% clean, renewable energy. The solutions are here, now we just need leaders willing to take #ClimateAction.

World Team Now's Facebook Page

World Team Now®’s Facebook Page

Flying around the world in an all-solar-powered airplane like the Solar Impulse 2, net -zero buildings (where one can pick fresh grown vegetables from a vertical growing farm outside your apartment window),  drive across the country in the all electric Tesla and use their EV solar charging stations with DC fast chargers, imagine renewable energy microgrids powering whole islands… These are not pipe dreams, they are really happening now— check out World Team Now®’s FaceBook page.  Here is where we try to move to the fast paced rhythm of global transformation and it is happening.  See posts on these topics and more renewable energy solutions in action, from brilliant entrepreneurs that inspire to cities like Aspen, Austin  and Palo Alto with climate ambition taking action now.

Each year, like a birthday, Earth Day’s meaning has changed.  Like a centennial with full memory intact, of the 100 years they have lived in their body, knowing that each breath matters, a metaphor— for where we may be as a species?  Why not make every day be an Earth day and every breath a powerful choice for the day to create our next Era of Energy— let’s reevaluate how we choose to power our world.  Do we use the wisdom and knowledge we have gained, to responsibly focus on what’s the highest good for all?

UN Climate Summit in September 2014, New York.

UN Climate Summit in September 2014, New York.

External energy and consciousness are not dissimilar— they all rely on a source.  Do you feel good about how you choose to source your energy?  With the World Team Project we are so eager to launch our World Team Platform, so you can come along while we demonstrate how we source our energy to renewables.   We hope to have the full World Team of twelve in action, together in Paris for COP21.  We all need it to be a game changer this time; meanwhile if not one of these holidays, we hope to see you in September for the UN Climate Summit  in New York City. Or join World Team Now® for our annual event October 12th— please save the date!

© World Team Now® (WTN) 2014. All rights reserved.

© 2017 World Team Now!

Theme by Anders NorenUp ↑