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.
Before COP officially starts next week, I'm joining fellow delegates Tim and Sam at COY11, the eleventh annual Comference of Youth held in conjunction with the UN meetings. For me, today's theme has revolved around who has a space in the room, a voice at the table, and even a presence in Paris for the next couple of weeks. I'm lucky enough to have the privilege of attending COP as a Dickinson alum, something that was relatively easy for me to obtain and finance.
On November 18 I was a speaker for Bard CEP's Naitonal Climate Seminar. The topic? A preview of the Paris climate conference. In my talk I spoke about who goes to the COP, why and what do they do; background about the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change; key issues for the Paris conference; possible outcomes; and what comes after Paris. On the last of these, it's important to recognize that the action is not over with Paris. Whether the conference is considered a success or failure will not depend on the words that are in the agreement that is reached.
We've received questions from concerned friends and family about traveling to Paris for COP21 in the wake of the recent terrorist attacks. Each member of the delegation is making a personal decision about going, weighing the value of participation against potential risks. For me, the violence in Paris that is symptomatic of conflict and tensions at work in the world give added importance to collaborations that seek to find common ground and shared solutions in response to critical challenges like global climate change.
If you are in Paris on 05 December, join us for a dialog about engaging younger generations in climate action. We have a great panel of speakers that includes Bill McKibben, James Balog, John Adams and Mark Jacobson. There will also be ample time for you to share your epxeriences and persectives. What's happening on your campus, in your community, in your city? What impacts are you having? Who are you partnering with? What actions are needed to build and sustain a movement.
In just two weeks, I will join our Dickinson delegation (Neil Leary, Timothy Damon ’12, Sarah Ganong ’13, Samuel Pollan ’14, Anna McGinn ’14, Keziah Groth-Tuft ’17) at COP21 in Paris. What is COP21? COP21 is the 21st Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). This meeting will also serve as the 11th session of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol (CMP11).
The violence that killed 128 or more people, injured many more and instilled fear in Paris this past Friday is deeply painful. We mourn the losses that have been suffered. Such acts cannot be justified or rationalized. They are simply immoral and have no legitimacy.In just two weeks, thousands of delegates will convene in Paris for the 21st Conference of the Parties (COP21) to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change. Our small delegation of Dickinson College students, recent graduates and I will be among them.