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As week two begins at the Paris UN Climate Summit (COP21), negotiators are working overtime to produce a legally binding agreement on limiting carbon reductions and financing adaptation and clean energy for the developing world. They are tired, overworked, and their only path to success is reaching a unanimous agreement between more than 190 different countries.
Sounds like perfect timing for an ice cream intervention! On Monday, in partnership with United Nations Climate Change secretariat’s Momentum for Change initiative, we scooped ice cream for negotiators, delegates and observers inside the Paris UN Climate Summit (COP21). As Ben & Jerry’s CEO Jostein Solheim says, “We are offering free ice cream to negotiators, because it's impossible to be angry while eating ice cream.”
Who got the first scoop? None other than Tony de Brum, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of the Marshall Islands— an island nation already facing evacuation due to rising sea levels caused by climate change. A tireless international climate change advocate, de Brum represents a number of vulnerable, developing countries urging the conference to take the more ambitious long term goal of no more than 1.5 degrees Celsius of warming.
We’ve been running our “Save the Swirled” advocacy campaign for a year now, working to help build the movement calling for immediate and long-lasting solutions to global climate change. Starting with bringing folks down to participate in the 400,000-person strong NYC People’s Climate March last September, we helped add more than 300,000 signatures to the Avaaz petition calling for a fair shift to 100% clean energy by 2050 (that petition was handed to delegates at the beginning of COP21 with over 3.6 million signatures!). And on November 29th, we marched with over 785,000 people in 2,300 Global Climate March actions and events across 175 countries.
Serving ice cream might seem like a small gesture compared to the scale and complexity of what’s happening here in Paris, but as we were always told, the little things really do matter— especially if they put a smile on the faces of the folks in charge of reaching a solution to climate change.
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