Can talk in Paris mean climate action?

Paris 2015. Will it be remembered for two major world events?

With stoic determination and somber resilience, the city is now preparing to host the next United Nations Climate Change Conference, running from 30 November to 11 December.

There has been a lot of talk about these talks over the last decade – with Kyoto and Copenhagen the previous iterations. I would argue we’ve come a long way.

Paris is a survivor. Of history, of wars, of terrorism; of the human condition. So it’s fitting that the latest installment in our plans to survive climate change will be debated here.

The Paris Climate Change Conference is about getting a global deal on climate change action.

According to the organising committee, the objective of the 2015 conference is to achieve, for the first time in over 20 years of UN negotiations, a binding and universal agreement on climate by all the countries of the world.


Particularly considering the collective resolve needed to change the way we all live, referred to by many economists obliquely as ‘structural reform’, to make a meaningful difference to global warming.

But it’s happening.

Australians aren’t typically marchers. But on Friday, between 40-6o,000 people took to the streets to protest for climate justice in Melbourne. In 2006, the previous peak of pro-action sentiment, 30,000 marched.

An awareness that we need to change is growing. Elected to represent us, it stands to reason the world’s leaders will follow.

Commentators are predicting the world is likely to agree on a lot more than divides it.

For some, this might be reported as just another talk, just another commitment. But this is the necessary precursor to action. Particularly action that stands to work.

Without talk, we’re all acting alone, with little chance of understanding what each other is doing, or opportunity to work collaboratively to achieve great things. In fact, this is probably why human symbolic communication evolved in the first place.

People talk to solve problems.

The Paris talks might be a major step to acting on the largest problem people have ever faced.

Talk to us about communicating climate change.