Protest has shaped the debate but Paris didn't save the planet

The climate deal agreed by world leaders in Paris this week is being heralded as a historic deal which has set the world on track to avoid catastrophic climate change. 


This is by no means what has happened. 
What is true is that world leaders have been under pressure from a growing global climate movement and community of scientists who have successfully raised awareness of both the issue and the need for serious and urgent action. 
To some extent whatever positives there are in the agreement are a reflection of this pressure. The headline grabbing desire "to pursue efforts to limit temperature rises to below 1.5 degrees" reflects the campaigning of many in the poorest parts of the world that have rightly argued that 2 degrees warming seals their fate. For many years their campaigning slogan has been 1.5 to stay alive! 
It's important that we recognise the impact of protest and pressure on the talks. However there will be and should be no complacency from the movement in the wake of the Paris agreement. 
The deal is historic only in so far as it underlines what the movement has been arguing for years. That there is an urgent and real threat to the climate which will have catastrophic consequences. 
But that threat still remains because the Paris talks have done absolutely nothing to prevent it or begin to tackle it. 

Michael Meacher

We were deeply saddened to hear of the death of Michael Meacher. As one of the first politicians to wake up to the threat posed by climate change, he was prepared to fight for what he believed in. As honorary Vice President of the Campaign against Climate Change, he spoke out for urgent climate action in and outside Parliament - seen left speaking at a rally in support of workers fighting to keep the Vestas wind turbine factory open.