Climate Changing Jordan

Before landing in Paris on Friday, I have spent the last three and a half months studying in Jordan. Here I talk a little about how the country is affected by climate change and what measures the kingdom has already taken to address the issue.

Rose Walters Prize Winners Gather in Paris

This international climate change conference brings many of the most prominent environment activists together in the same space to push world leaders and negotiators to take action on climate change. It is no surprise that some of Dickinson’s Rose Walters Prize winners are among this notable crowd. On December 5, 2015, Dickinson brought together member of the Rose-Walters selection committee as well as the winners themselves to reflect on the conference so far and in particular how to engage young people in climate action.

Seeing Climate Change on the Streets of Paris

There has been a true convergence of science, art, and climate action on the streets of Paris this past week. The Dickinson Delegation has had the opportunity to visit many of these instillations, and each of them has been a beautiful and inspiring experience. One of the installations is called “The Standing March” and depicts 500 people staring and moving on the National Assembly building.

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Day Three - DIVESTMENT Demonstration

"HEY HEY HO HO FOSSIL FUELS HAVE GOT TO GO" - "HEY HEY HO HO FOSSIL FUELS HAVE GOT TO GO!" - "REAL LEADERS DIVEST FROM FOSSIL FUELS!" - "REAL LEADERS DIVEST FROM FOSSIL FUELS!" - "KEEP IT IN THE GROUND!"- "KEEP IT IN THE GROUND!"

Trash Talking the UNFCCC

Let’s talk trash. Your country is so screwed by climate change it probably won’t exist by the time negotiators figure out a balanced financing mechanism. Burned. Okay, that was a poor attempt at a joke. Reality is harsh. Just like your mom (for real though, that was the last one). Trashy jokes aside, trash is no joke when it comes to climate change. Approximately 5 percent of all anthropogenic greenhouse gases can be traced back to landfills and waste management.

Photos from Paris

It is now day 4 of COP21. It has been an eventful week, and the Dickinson delegation is soaking it all in! We are meeting with state delegates, participating in fossil fuel divestment actions, attending YOUNGO meetings (the youth delegation at the COP), and of course seeing some iconic Paris sites like the Eiffel Tower. Below are a few photos that capture the COP21 experience so far.

Youth as Change Agents

Something that I come across daily at Luther College is the emphasis on using the youth as effective agents of change; finding the critical areas through which the energy of young people can influence greater politics. Here in Paris and throughout the history of the UNFCCC, the youth are impacting the content of the negotiations. Tim Damon, as a member of SustainUS, has worked tirelessly to promote intergenerational equity as a key outcome of these discussions and currently has two sentences referencing this concern in the negotiating document.

Expectations from the Parisian Streets

I spent a few days traversing the streets of Paris with friends prior to engaging in the labyrinth that is the UNFCCC negotiations. Between the Monet masterpieces and the scenes of the Seine, the streets, metro, and attractions are signs advocating solidarity and progress in the coming conference. Atop the Sacre Coeur and the Eiffel Tower are exhibits ushering global cooperation. Ben & Jerry have even left their mark in this public collection amidst the Parisian commuters and tourists. The city of Paris seems ready for COP21. What about the citizens though?

"1.5 Degrees Celsius is our Battle Cry"

My favorite group to follow at the COPs is the Climate Vulnerable Forum (CVF) because it is the story of the underdog that has the passion and drive to make a global impact. They are not a negotiating block, but rather a group of countries that have joined together to give a voice to the most vulnerable countries to climate change.

Unpacking India's COP21 Positions

Earlier today, I attended a press conference hosted by the Climate Action Network (CAN) where four members of civil society from India discussed the Indian positions at COP21. India is a particularly interesting country to follow at the COPs. India contributes significantly to the world's greenhouse gas emissions and is developing rapidly, but they do not have the same technological and financial capabilities of China or developed nations.

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