The world is listening. We've rallied, we've marched, we've kicked, we've screamed - Yesterday, 195 nations made a step in the right direction in the Paris Agreement at COP21, but what does that mean? I've scrolled through countless articles sharing the hallmark of this moment, but, again, what does it really mean? It means that nations have agreed that it's time to do something. GREAT - to what extent?
Some reflections on my time at COP21:
In an earlier post, I discussed the Climate Vulnerable Forum (CVF), which is the group of countries that have declared themselves the most vulnerable to climate change. The CVF’s message during this COP is simple and singular. They are calling for the world to agree that global temperature rise shall not exceed (and actually that is well below) 1.5 degrees Celsius.
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.
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.
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.
The entrance to COP21.
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.
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.
12 hours in Day One of the COP sounds awful, right? Well, believe me it was far from it. I can't say that I had one dull moment today. Today, is November 30th, 2015 and I spent the day running around the venue looking for rooms/halls, chasing Party delegates for an interview, and attending moving lectures on renewable energies, carbon pricing, and youth outreach. The energy at the conference is out of this world. I met people from Madagascar, Mexico, Congo, Norway, Sweden, France, Germany, Poland, China, etc.