COP21 is the largest-ever gathering of world leaders to discuss climate change and more than 190 nations will be represented in the Paris talks from 30th November to the 11th December 2015. It is widely recognised that these will be the crunch talks in negotiating the vital international agreements in the battle against climate change.

COP21 aims ‘to achieve, for the first time in over 20 years of UN negotiations, a binding and universal agreement on climate, from all the nations of the world’ and focused on reducing global greenhouse gas emissions (current commitments on emissions end in 2020), although no-one underestimates the political challenge in pulling this off.

Scientists have warned that if greenhouse gas emissions continue to rise, we will pass the threshold beyond which global warming becomes catastrophic and irreversible. That threshold is estimated as a temperature rise of 2C above pre-industrial levels, and on current emissions trajectories we are heading for a rise of about 5C. So what happens in Paris and beyond is vitally important to the future sustainability of the planet.

The Guardian has put together a very concise article, Everything you need to know about the Paris climate summit and UN talks, outlining the history of climate change talks and the complex political negotiations that are taking place ahead of Paris. And the TED Playlist: Climate Change, Oh It’s Real gives a great overview of how climate change is a human rights issue as well as some of the key scientific facts behind the looming crisis.

The UN has acknowledged the important role that arts have to play in communicating issues around climate change.

ArtCOP21 is a global festival promoting climate awareness and positive change in the run up to the COP21 climate talks in Paris. Our aim is to complement ArtCOP21 whilst bringing the focus very much to the UK and the cultural activity taking place in our localities. As with Coming of Age you can participate in ArtCOP21 by registering your event on their website for free.