Why Come to Paris?

What’s happening?

The ‘Conference of Parties’ 21st meeting (COP21) will take place in Paris this December as part of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. The talks are scheduled to last from Monday 30 November – Friday 11 December, though they may over run. For a concise account of what will be discussed at the talks, see this Guardian article.

How are Reclaim the Power and other social movements responding?

The global climate justice movement, whilst deeply critical of the take over of the COP21 talks by big business interests, will use the talks as a focal point for building our movements around the world. We know that the process is broken and that the corporate dominated talks will never produce an agreement that deals with the underlying causes of the climate catastrophe. Yet we also know that we cannot just ignore this moment where Paris becomes a stage to play out the struggle of life against business as usual.

We’re not relying on those in power. Again and again, it has been proven that when the people unite and fight, change happens. Fracking did not get rejected in Lancashire by the will of those in power, neither was the right to vote 11895026_1471272913197165_3535912483477835749_o ‘given’ to women in the UK – it was fought for from below and won. We are using the COP21 as means of strengthening the movement that is striving for global justice.

Reclaim the Power will use COP21 moment as a milestone to build and empower the climate movement and provide a transformative experience for participants.

Paris will be an opportunity to meet different movements from around the world, to share strategies for resistance, new models of organising and to build our networks for international solidarity. The fossil fuel and corporate lobbies are international – seeking to extract profit wherever they can whilst the planet burns. Our resistance to these companies must similarly be international.

We are engaging in the COP21 mobilisation with a focus on corruptive corporate power, a broken capitalist system, and positive solutions, rather than one of trying to influence negotiators to make a good agreement. We intend to do this by incorporating the following objectives that were agreed by the international Climate Justice Action network in Spring 2015.


1. We need to democratise the climate discourse around COP21 and expand the focus from climate change to system change.

2. We need to emphasise the real potential of alternatives and confront the broken system of capitalism with acts of creative civil disobedience.

3. We need to celebrate unity in diversity.

4. We will work towards making Paris an empowering, galvanising experience which continues to build our movement and amplify the voices of affected communities, through and beyond 2015.

Networks that Reclaim the Power is involved with around the COP21:


The ‘Climat Coalition 21? is a network of NGOs, trade unions, church groups and grassroots groups. The meetings are based in France but gather people on an international level. They are helping to build civil society’s narrative and facilitate the mobilisation around the negotiations in Paris. Website: http://coalitionclimat21.org/en


– Climate Justice Action is an international anti-capitalist network of grassroots groups that support direct action against the fossil fuel and extractive industries. For the past year, gatherings have been taking place in various European cities Website: http://climatejusticeaction.net