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Paris climate talks, November 30

When the French foreign minister, Laurent Fabius, gaveled the Paris Agreement into existence on December 12, he said the day would go down in history. His words rang true. President François Hollande proclaimed it a “revolutionary” moment.

The Paris Agreement delivers a powerful signal to business, investors and communities that the nations of the world are committed to curbing greenhouse gas emissions and accelerating the transition to a low-carbon, clean energy economy.  

Humpback breech

2015 provided no shortage of work for Earthjustice attorneys, who went to bat time and time again for threatened species under the Endangered Species Act, focused on preserving our remaining wild lands and maintained a watchful eye on oil and gas drilling. We documented their trials, tribulations and triumphs throughout the year.

Here’s a round-up of 2015’s most popular Earthjustice blog posts: 

10. Shell’s Battle for Seattle

Shell tried to grease the skids on its way to Arctic drilling through Seattle’s port.

Buck Parker at Crater Lake in southern Oregon.

Vawter “Buck” Parker describes himself as “the kid in the back of the car daydreaming and looking at the passing landscape” as his family took long rides through Oregon, where he grew up. Those years set him on course for a lifetime of protecting the wild, first as a private lawyer, then for 35 years with Earthjustice, which he led for more than a decade. As he retires to his home in Hood River, Buck reflects on how he got involved with Earthjustice and how he helped shape its direction during a time when conservation efforts evolved into the powerful environmental movement.

Notre Dame Cathedral

Something profound happened in Paris last week and we have to celebrate it. One hundred and ninety-five nations came together and made a pact to act against climate change. They agreed to hold global temperature rise to well below 2 degrees Celsius, with a target of no more than 1.5 degrees. They agreed to revisit this year's commitments to cut greenhouse gas emissions in 2020, when it will be even cheaper and easier to get off of fossil fuels. The countries that got rich burning fossil fuels agreed to help fund climate solutions for countries that didn't.

Oil field pumpjacks in Kern County, California.

We don’t drink the water here. Here’s some bottled water.” That’s what I learned after asking for a glass of water while visiting California’s Central Valley for the first time. Over the years, I have come to understand valley residents’ deep distrust of government agencies that continually fail to protect water quality in their area.

Rocky Mountains, Colorado

World leaders are in Paris to engage in another round of climate negotiations. With scientists arguing this is a now-or-never moment, so much is at stake. The Paris talks are the world’s best opportunity to create an agreement that will make a real difference in reducing the worst impacts of climate change—while we still can.

Thousands of miles away, at the foot of the Rocky Mountains, Paris is much on the minds of Coloradans. Hundreds of us showed up on a snowy Sunday on the eve of the climate talks to participate in the Global Climate March.  

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About the Earthjustice Blog

unEARTHED is a forum for the voices and stories of the people behind Earthjustice's work. The views and opinions expressed in this blog do not necessarily represent the opinion or position of Earthjustice or its board, clients, or funders. Learn more about Earthjustice.