The response from the global parkour community to our One Giant Leap event has been really amazing – particularly so in Spanish speaking countries and China (thanks mainly to our great Mandarin speaking volunteer Grace). So to welcome people when they come to our website we’ve translated the petition pages. We would have liked to have done more but with our resources already stretched it hasn’t been possible. But if anyone wants to volunteer…..
In organising this event it’s been interesting to notice that parkour, like climate change, is no respecter of the old categories of ‘developed’ and ‘developing’ countries: the community is widespread. The only pre-requisites are a suitable urban environment and a group of healthy, fit individuals with enough leisure time to pursue their sport. The range of countries that have come on board therefore reflects quite well those countries who have achieved a certain level of economic development. That is not to say that development levels and the average incomes of people in the countries is equal, far from it. We have groups taking part in Inner Mongolia and Las Vegas – two more starkly contrasting locations seem hard to imagine. But it does say something about how sometimes bald statistics and the labels that arise from them fail to illuminate adequately what is going on in the world today.
If we are going to succeed in tackling climate change we need to forge a new sense of a global community. We are all in this together. We should no longer be arguing how much action is taken by whom but rather focusing on how to harness the considerable energy and human and monetary capital that exists all over the world to drive towards an effective solution.
The signs that this is taking place are good. The US is back in the game, Europe has its own internal issues to resolve but appears committed to doing the right thing, both India and China have made very positive statements recently that indicate they too are ready to act. And countries like South Korea and Mexico have already indicated they are happy to join the set of countries who have taken on hard targets.
This potential coalition of the willing covers such a large portion of the world’s emissions that if the right policies and mechanisms can be found there is every possibility we can turn global emissions around and get them on the decline.
The global community that can help deliver this most easily is the power sector – responsible for the largest source of global CO2 emissions. Some of the several hundred companies who control the world’s polluting power stations (which number only around 3,300) are already diverting cash into cleaner technologies but the pace of change is too slow. A new global agreement that gave them a more comprehensive framework for investment would quicken the pace. It could take many forms – a global emissions standard, fossil fuel tax, maximum carbon intensity target or a finite global carbon budget for the sector. The exact nature of the mechanism can be argued over but the point is to get the focus on the sector and to get the right countries involved. Then as long as the solution is long, loud and legal the money will flow.
This kind of positive vision could be a second Apollo mission – with the aim of creating a vast network of clean energy sources across the globe. Our One Giant Leap event on Saturday is designed to promote this vision, harnessing the natural energy thousands of parkour practitioners to spread the word. Please sign the petition and support the campaign.