GREENBELT – The Greenbelt Climate Action Network (GCAN) held a workshop on “Paris 2015,” a conference that will be held in Paris, France on climate change. The event took place on Nov. 4 at the Greenbelt Community Center. The workshop was led by Lore Rosenthal, who is a member of GCAN. GCAN’s mission is to […]
GREENBELT – The Greenbelt Climate Action Network (GCAN) held a workshop on “Paris 2015,” a conference that will be held in Paris, France on climate change.
The event took place on Nov. 4 at the Greenbelt Community Center.
The workshop was led by Lore Rosenthal, who is a member of GCAN. GCAN’s mission is to educate residents in Greenbelt about climate change, “systemic” solutions, how they can change their behaviors to be more sustainable, and take political action, according to their website.
“Paris 2015,” also known as the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP21/CMP11), will be held from Nov. 30 to Dec. 11. Its mission is to come to an international agreement on the climate that will be sustainable to all countries globally.
“The goal of the workshop is designed by 350.org and it is to explore the skill of building momentum for the upcoming international event,” Rosenthal said.
Rosenthal held the workshop to help people in the community gain awareness about the conference. The workshop focused on the “Road Through Paris,” which focused on how to effectively gain momentum on the issue of climate change, locally, regionally, nationally, and globally even after the conference.
Rosenthal began the workshop by creating a timeline. Participants listed what events they have participated in about climate change over the past year. The participants reflected on the activity and noticed how they liked the continuation of the momentum over the past year.
Participants also discussed climate issues locally and brainstormed on what works to continue to keep the momentum going.
“I think there needs to be greater awareness and participation in the activities that reflect the goals and values of the conference,” Michael Hartman of Greenbelt said.
Participants pointed out how people are becoming aware of climate change, but don’t know what to do and want to find ways to be informed. They also pointed out the importance of young people being involved and also focused on the diversity of movement. They agreed that people from different backgrounds, whether middle class, indigenous, minorities, or local the economic class need to be aware of the issue.
“You also have to get more government involvement. Individuals can’t make that much of an impact. We need to push economic incentives to go green,” Art Fabel said.
Rosenthal also led the discussion of the events that have taken place within Maryland and D.C. over the past years, such as the Frack Attack Rally that was held in D.C. in 2012, The People Climate’s March in 2014, and how Maryland legislature passed a two-plus moratorium on fracking until Oct. 2017.
“The whole idea of the momentum is to get people motivated. There is a concern for climate change,” said Jean Lee of Hyattsville. “One person can start an idea and people are inspired and want to be involved.”
To help keep the momentum going, participants made individual commitments towards the end of the rally, such as being activist for climate change in church, within school settings, newspapers, and overall within the community.