Along with all people of goodwill, we are shocked and saddened by the horrific events which took place in Paris on Friday night.
However, we are also still committed and determined to cycle to Paris as originally planned, to support the goal of a successful climate agreement between world leaders. A binding and meaningful agreement on cutting carbon needs to be achieved if we are not to condemn billions of people to irreversible climate change and all the attendant impacts that that will bring.
The events on Friday change nothing with respect to the significance of the COP21 negotiations except to highlight some of the ways in which the struggle to control access to fossil fuels is already having repercussions close to home. If the motivation for the Paris attacks proves to stem from the troubles in Syria, it will be doubly sad, as their national instabilities have been at least partly caused by impacts of climate change.
Our presence in Paris will serve as a statement of solidarity with all who seek to pursue a peaceful resolution of world problems rather than resort to violence as a few desperate people did on Friday night. If we were to cancel our trip, the terrorists would have won, and the vast majority of humanity would have lost.
“The best response to terrorism is more democracy and openness”, as the Norwegian Prime Minister said after the tragic attack in Norway, and his words should guide us in our reaction to this tragedy. We will not abandon our shared values: liberté, egalité, fraternité.
Euan, Ewan, Ricky and Roger