The Alarm Clock On Climate Change Is Ticking

Building off the moment of the Earth To Paris movement for COP21, Earth To Marrakech unites partners around the world to engage the public in tuning in to COP22 and demanding bolder actions from our political leaders.

Christiana Figueres, former executive secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change—the person who led COP21 and the Paris Agreement—offered a "golden engraved invitation" to us all during a panel on climate action that I moderated at the Clinton Global Initiative. Ms. Figueres called upon the world to act with a sense of binding urgency and “swallow the alarm clock.”

The Paris Agreement officially entered into force last Friday and today marked the opening of COP22 in Marrakech where world leaders are gathering to discuss implementation of the Paris Agreement. Solving for climate change will take incredible innovations across industries. Everyone needs to be at the table.

In partnership with the United Nations Foundation and a growing coalition of nonprofits, media, and businesses, GOOD is thrilled to announce Earth To Marrakech. Building off the momentum of the Earth To Paris movement for COP21, Earth To Marrakech unites partners around the world to engage the public in tuning in to COP22 and demanding bolder actions from our political leaders as they advance plans to keep global warming at no more than two degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.

What can you do now? Earth To Marrakech invites individuals to join the global coalition by sharing a picture or short video holding a sign with #EarthToMarrakech on social media. We’ll make sure that world leaders get the message.

During our talk at CGI, Minister John Silk of the Marshall Islands explained that if we do not act with urgency now on this issue, the Marshall Islands will cease to exist. What does it mean for a people when they have a nationality but no longer have a nation? Martyn Parker of global insurance giant Swiss Re said global warming beyond two degrees Celsius is an uninsurable world. The risk is simply too high and the costs will be too great.

However, the Paris Agreement going into force is not enough to save the Marshall Islands—and other low lying areas throughout the world including much of Miami, New York City, Bangladesh and 30 percent of the airports in Latin America.

While the Paris Agreement creates the framework for transformation, we must take action in our own lives as well as encouraging our leaders to take bold action. Earth To Marrakech will build a bridge from the United Nations to the public to encourage local action and support for realization of the Paris Agreement’s goals. The UN Foundation, GOOD, National Geographic, Connect4Climate, Mashable, UNDP, and more are already on board.

We need you to swallow the alarm clock now.

Visit Earth To Marrakech to join our global movement and use #EarthToMarrakech on social to show your support for bold climate action now.

Julian Meehan

Young leaders from around the world are gathering at the United Nations Headquarters in New York Saturday to address arguably the most urgent issue of our time. The Youth Climate Summit comes on the heels of an international strike spearheaded by Greta Thunberg, the 16-year-old climate activist from Sweden, who arrived in New York via emissions-free sailboat earlier this month.

Translated from Swedish, "berg" means "mountain," so it may feel fated that a young woman with Viking blood in her veins and summit in her name would be at the helm. But let's go out on a limb and presume Thunberg, in keeping with most activists, would chafe at the notion of pre-ordained "destiny," and rightly so. Destiny is passive — it happens to you. It's also egomaniacal. Change, on the other hand, is active; you have to fight. And it is humble. "We need to get angry and understand what is at stake," Thunberg declared. "And then we need to transform that anger into action."

This new generation of activists' most pernicious enemy is denial. The people in charge — complacent politicians and corporation heads who grossly benefit from maintaining the status quo — are buffered from real-life consequences of climate change. But millions of people don't share that privilege. For them, climate change isn't an abstract concept, but a daily state of emergency, whether it comes in the form of "prolonged drought in sub-Saharan Africa…devastating tropical storms sweeping across Southeast Asia, the Caribbean and the Pacific…[or] heatwaves and wildfires," as Amnesty International reportsare all too real problems people are facing on a regular basis.

RELATED: Greta Thunberg urges people to turn to nature to combat climate change

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