Last month I had the privilege of connecting with Cy, a queer guy from Paris who after reading my essay about Queer Responses to Climate Change and seeing the many ways that LGBTQ people are engaging in climate action, decided to do something connect to the Paris climate talks. He and his comrades have been quite busy organizing events to educate people and to organize actions. He sent me the following message he asked me to share. You will also see images from their action this weekend in Paris. So much glitter, so little time!
I am Cy, one of the lead organizers of LGBTI pour le Climat, a movement fighting for climate and social justice in Paris.
Since we are keenly aware that minorities are often the first victims of social, political, economical or climate crisis, we consider the negotiations of the COP 21 not only as a crucial moment to show solidarity with the frontline communities impacted by climate change but also as a way of participating to this global mobilization alongside other groups.
We strongly believe in the necessity for the COP21 to reach a justly negotiated agreement and meet a 2°C goal before ecological catastrophes become a routine endangering not only Earth itself and its resources but also what is important to us : social justice, peace and equal rights for a diversity of people.
Although there were alternative funding options for the French government, the COP 21 has been mostly financed by some of the most controversial French corporations and banks like :
EDF and Engie, France’s main energy producer responsible for over 50% of the country’s total carbon emissions half of which come from coal plants.
Air France who is opposed to the cut of emissions in the aviation sector,
Renault-Nissan who is producing cars that emit extremely high levels of pollution.
BNP Paribas, a French bank who has been supporting the use and extraction of coal and refuses to leave tax havens.
The rest of this list is too long for this e-mail, but it raises serious doubts about the role corporate partners play during the COP (similar concerns were raised during the COP19) and their ability to greenwash freely and appear as solutions for ecological transitions without much accountability.
Following the recent terrorist attacks in Paris, all marches and demonstrations surrounding COP21 have been prohibited.
In light of these increased security measures and limitations around demonstrations, we are turning to other strategies to channel the positive energy and momentum that has been building over the past few weeks.
We have instead decided to launch a global operation from November 29th to December 12th called:
« It’s a Kind of Magic » #ItsaKindofMagic.
Relying upon traditionally queer tactics, we will be staging visibility opportunities around Paris to draw attention to the economic and industrial system which is directly responsible for climate problems.
This operation encapsulates the very convergence that we have been trying to elevate as an LGBTI organization engaged in the movement to address climate change.
Members of LGBTI pour le Climat will travel across Paris fabulously, dressed up as unicorns, faeries, witches, mermaids, drag queens in order to make the power of our own magic count in the broader climate change conversations happening next week.
The aim being to stop in front of one significant location and perform an action there :
a location whose name is immediately linked to climate change (e.g. a metro station, a street like «Rue du Pôle Nord» in Paris )
who is or has been visibly impacted by climate change (i.e. physical landmarks in your communities that embody the negative impacts of climate change)
or, even better, an institution financing fossil fuels, tar sands industries, or big polluters like Total, Shell depending on the countries where you live.
* Spread the word. Share our operation with your networks, to your constituencies.
* Join in the magic. Whether or not you’ll be in Paris, participate in our #ItsaKindofMagic operation by taking your own photos and/or videos at locations in your own communities to raise awareness of the effects of climate change and call out your decision makers who will be participating in the negotiations.
* Share our work, our facebook page, our articles in order to keep raising awareness on these essential issues.
I would welcome the opportunity to find some time to touch base by phone or over Skype to talk about ways our organizations could work together to elevate the LGBTI perspective during these critical climate conversations in Paris.
I know the next few days might be challenging given the Thanksgiving holiday, but if you happen to have a free 20 minutes this coming weekend or even early next week, I’d love the chance to connect.
Lead organizer of LGBTI pour le Climat,