Editorial Notes: The Energy Mix on the Road to Paris
Over the next five weeks, expect to see a couple of changes in The Energy Mix.
From November 30 to December 11, representatives of almost 200 countries will gather in Paris for the United Nation climate summit—formally the 21st Session of the Conference of the Parties to the Framework Convention on Climate Change, or COP 21. (Now you know why we’d rather call it the UN climate summit.)
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If you’ve been following The Mix, you know the stakes attached to a global climate deal couldn’t be higher. Over the last couple of weeks, we’ve begun seeing a growing wave of research and analysis, political positioning, national commitments, sub-national activity, and grassroot advocacy that will reach a crescendo as the summit dates approach. We’re responding by shifting our coverage mix—until the summit begins, you’ll see more material on the policy dimensions of a low-carbon future, less (for now) on the specific clean energy technologies and practices that are still at the heart of any viable set of climate solutions.
Once the summit gets under way, things will change again. Paris will become the gathering point for the global climate community, with an almost inexhaustible supply of content on climate change and climate solutions. The Energy Mix curator Mitchell Beer will be onsite in Paris beginning November 27, our home team in Ottawa will be keeping a close eye on the official negotiations, and we’re going to try to issue daily updates while COP 21 is in progress.
If you’re watching from home, set aside some time to participate in the Global Climate March on November 29, the day before the summit convenes. If you’re in Ottawa, or anywhere nearby, plan to join the 100% is Possible rally—it begins at 1 PM at Marion Dewar Plaza, outside City Hall, and could become the biggest climate march the city has ever seen.
The national commitments leading into the Paris summit won’t be sufficient to hold average global warming to 2ºC, much less the 1.5ºC target that is receiving more and more attention from researchers and advocates. But the stage is still set for an historic agreement. If negotiators get it right, it will get nations on the road to a more stable climate and, crucially, trigger ever more robust commitments in the years ahead.
So watch your email, and raise your voice. After years of preparation and months of anticipation, an important moment in the life of the world is about to begin. – M.B.