Jean-Michel Cousteau's Statement on the Paris Climate Accord

December 26, 2015

Jean-Michel Cousteau's Statement on the Paris Climate Accord

In December 2015, nearly 200 nations gathered in Paris and accomplished what had never been done before – they created a global agreement acknowledging the serious threats posed by climate change to the planet and potentially to people around the world.

The agreement is philosophically encouraging. It means that world leaders and decision-makers recognize that the health of our planet is in trouble. It means world leaders know we must change the way we harness energy by keeping fossil fuels in the ground and transitioning to renewable energy from the sun, winds, tides, and currents. We know we must make major changes regarding how we use our resources to protect the quality of our lives now and for the future.

The Paris Climate Accord signifies a global intent for change. But there must be actions.

We have a lot of work to do. We must continue to offer solutions to governments and businesses. For the first time ever the Paris Climate Accord brings together all nations – rich or poor – for commitments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Action must follow. This is not only about the environment; it is also about the economy. By investing in renewable energy technologies, thousands of jobs and industries will be created around the world.

We have a lot of work to do. We must continue to offer solutions to governments and businesses. For the first time ever the Paris Climate Accord brings together all nations – rich or poor – for commitments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Action must follow. This is not only about the environment; it is also about the economy. By investing in renewable energy technologies, thousands of jobs and industries will be created around the world.

We are only at the beginning. The agreement in Paris was the first step. Now, we must work more than ever to ensure all nations take real actions moving forward. The quality of our lives is tied to the health of our planet. By protecting nature, we protect its biodiversity, which offers us food, medicines, and many more resources. Our planet is our home, and now is the time we must take the opportunity to create the clean water and energy future we need.

At the end of the day, I want to be able to look into the eyes of children and grandchildren, and tell them they can have the same privileges I have had. There is more we must do to protect our futures. We, as the human species, are intelligent, creative, and adaptable. We are the only species on the planet that has the choice and privilege not to disappear. We must take actions now for the future we want.

Warm regards,

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Jean-Michel Cousteau
President, Ocean Futures Society