(Caroline Forster contributed to this article)
To “COP OU PAS COP” is the phrase that has been buzzing around Paris for months in the lead up to the COP 21 Climate Conference. Kicking off next week on November 30, the 21st Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), will convene world leaders from 190 countries aiming to complete a new global climate agreement.
Not a world leader at the debate table? You can still get involved! As global citizens, we all have a role to play in taking strong action on climate change. Across Paris, there are plenty of engaging and educational activities for the public, ranging from debates to photo expositions and rock concerts. Many are now open and free to attend. INSPIRELLE highlights a selection of events and activities through which you can also get involved in the climate change conversation.
- ALSO READ: Can COP 21 Save the Planet?
When: Now – Saturday, Nov. 28
Time: 9:30am – 7pm
Where: Metro République (exit #4)
What: The massive People’s Climate March in Paris was unfortunately cancelled after the recent terrorist attacks – but hundreds of thousands of “marching shoes” will line the streets around La République instead. Join the action by sending a pair of shoes to represent your voice on the streets of Paris before the #COP21 climate summit. Hosted by Avaaz, a campaigning community bringing people-powered politics to decision making worldwide.
How to Participate: Visit Avaaz WEBSITE for details. Other marches around the world are still on this weekend. Find out more details at the GLOBAL CLIMATE MARCH site
A global festival of cultural activity on climate change
When: Now through January 2016
Where: Various places in Paris, France and around the world. Check website for details.
What: An extensive global program of over 290 major events including: art installations, plays, exhibitions, concerts, talks, conferences, workshops, family events and screenings – plus a whole range of people power gatherings and demonstrations – taking place around Paris and worldwide. The Gaîté Lyrique becomes the HQ of ArtCOP21 and its own Conference of Creative Parties during the 12 days of the main conference, while offering free talks, concerts, lectures, screenings and workshops for kids and adults. Family-friendly events include The Honey Roads, a photo exhibition at the Luxembourg Gardens and Planet Zoom, children’s workshops at the George Pompidou Center.
When: Tuesday, Dec. 1 – Friday Dec. 11
Time: 10:30 am – 7:00pm (excluding Sunday, Dec. 6)
Where: Parc des Expositions du Bourget, Place Charles Lindbergh 93350 Le Bourget, France
What: Open to both the general public and officially-accredited persons, over 360 French and international civil society organizations will fill this 27,000 square meters of space with stands, interactive educational exhibits, almost 400 conferences and debates and more than 60 film screenings. Situated right next to the UN Conference Centre, it will be open to the public and FREE to all. You can even download a handy VISITORS GUIDE in English!
Paris de l’Avenir (Paris of the Future)
When: Now – Sunday Dec. 13
Time: All day
Where: Bassin de la Villette, Hotel de Ville, L’Avenue Winston Churchill
What: Using Parisian public spaces as a showcase for tangible climate solutions in the context of the COP21 conference, Paris de l’Avenir started over the summer along the Berges de Seine, and continues with exhibitions at the three other locations. At La Villette, visitors are invited to an immersive discovery of the Paris of the future around the themes: energy, mobility and logistics, resource and recycling, and urban development. In front of the Hotel de Ville, stroll through a low-carbon and energy town adapted to the climatic changes of tomorrow. And on l’Avenue Winston Churchill, Paris de l’Avenir will take over the street between the two “Palais” to exhibit the most impressive (and voluminous) climate-oriented innovations in sustainable mobility and urban logistics.
When: Thursday, Dec.5 – Thursday, Dec. 12
Time: 10am to midnight
Where: Eiffel Tower
What: You and your whole family can help light up the Eiffel Tower by biking and dancing in this unique participatory art experience under the most recognizable icon of Paris. All the energy accumulated during the day will light up Eiffel Tower at night. The “powerhouse” tent will be located under the Iron Lady and will only work if we are there to provide the power! The idea is that human beings must work together for progress. People worldwide can also join HUMAN ENERGY via social media and help raise the Climate Sign, or earn “Human Energy Units” in your home.
Le Pavillon Circulaire (the Circular Pavilion)
When: Now – Sunday, Jan. 3, 2016
Where: Place de l’Hôtel de Ville, Paris 75004
What: A family-friendly series of events takes place in this experimental architectural structure built in front of Paris’ City Hall with reused materials. There’ll will be something for everyone from exhibitions to children’s workshops, events, debates, a “fab-lab’ and a café.
When: Saturday, Dec. 7 – Sunday, Dec. 8, 2015
Time: All day
Where: Petit Palais & UNESCO Headquarters
What: A two-day, high-impact, live-streamed summit organized by the Earth to Paris coalition, brings together a unique mix of high-profile speakers from multiple sectors to discuss creative and impactful solutions to climate change. Ordinary citizens like us, and anyone around the world can take part through a multi-language livestreamed video and real-time social media interaction using the hashtag #EarthToParis.
When: Wednesday Dec. 4 & Thursday, Dec. 5
Where: Le Trianon, 80 Boulevard de Rochechouart Paris, 75010
What: Conference and concert with a mix of artists, activists, academics, musicians, politicians, and innovators who are bringing their voices together to highlight their love and commitment to a sustainable world. Together, they will be volunteering their time and making donations to 350.org, an international organization whose goal is to build a worldwide movement towards ending the climate crisis. Will include: Thom Yorke, Patti Smith, Bill McKibben, Naomi Klein, Vandana Shiva, Dhani Harrison, and many others!
Tickets: Price 37,50€. Tickets available for December 5th concert through FNAC Spectacles.
When: Nov. 28 – Dec. 20
What: The Hub Culture Paris Pavilion at COP21, will bring together leaders from the global climate community to work on solutions and innovation for a better planet. Presented with XPRIZE Foundation, EIT Climate-KIC, People+Planet Project, Ven and INSPIRELLE (yes, that’s us!), the Pavilion will offer VIP events and workshops, as well as activities for startups and innovators looking to participate in climate discussions.
Where: Personal computer, phone, and/or tablet
What: This website gives daily challenges which allow you to maintain your own CO2 meter by performing a simple action for the environment. Log in once and get a daily reminder of what to do for the day. For example, sign up for bike subscription, eat organic for the day, take time for yourself and deconnect, sign-up for climate/local newsletter.