Elsa
Meskel

Project: "Climate volunteers: in Paris we act!'

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With a Masters degree in environmental science and engineering, Elsa has 9 years experience in the fields of climate change and energy. Following six years in Paris Climate Agency Association, she joined the Climate-Energy division of the City of Paris as ‘Low Carbon City 2050’ project manager to take part in constructing an ambitious new Climate Air Energy Plan of Paris. In collaboration with C40 and nine other cities with advanced climate policy frameworks, she helped create a protocol on carbon neutrality. She now steers the Climate Volunteers community, bringing together more than 25,000 Parisians willing to act for the climate.

By its own action, the city of Paris can only impact 20% of GHG emitted in the Paris area; the remaining 80% therefore requires the involvement of all people who live, work, or pass through Paris. Becoming a Climate Volunteer means joining a community of more than 25,000 Parisians ready to commit and act in favour of the climate. Launched at the end of 2018, the Climate Volunteers community was able to benefit from some fifty activities, from training to practical workshops and friendly events. Future work involves strengthening the program; further empowering the community; developing partnerships with local associations involved in the ecological transition; and new modes of mobilization closer to the interests of Parisians.

MOTIVATION FOR AND COMMITMENT TO CREATING A BETTER AND MORE SUSTAINABLE PLANET

“In 1992, when 100 Heads of States gathered to sign the Rio Declaration and launch the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, I was five years old. One wonders then on "the condition of the planet where our children will live". Today I am 32 years old and our living environment has indeed evolved under the influence of climate change. Adaptation to climate change is no longer a concept but a reality, and carbon neutrality is an objective that is no longer questioned. Beyond a personal conviction, I have forged the wish to take part in a collective action. For 10 years, my professional missions have led me to work with many partners on the acculturation and implementation of the ecological transition.

The City of Paris adopted a very innovative and ambitious Climate Action Plan in March 2018 guiding the city towards carbon neutrality by 2050. It was then submitted to a citizen vote. Thus, Parisian people had the opportunity to express If they agreed or not with the proposal.  More than 73,000 Parisians voted and agreed to the plan’s goals and implementation. In the same time, 15,000 decided to become “Climate Volunteers”, meaning that they were ready to act on the ecological transition in their city."