We walked into the entrance of COP 21, and I knew this was the moment when the world would change. Over 45,000 attendees comprised of heads of states, delegations, and civil society observers representing 195 countries gathered at Le Bourget, Paris to make a commitment to work towards a legally binding document to stop climate change and keep the global temperature from increasing more than 2°C. This is definitely the biggest challenge humanity has ever faced, and it will take countless hours of negotiation to come to an agreement. The entire world and future generations are relying on the delegates to come together and work towards a global accord so we can secure our future.
The plenaries started at the beginning of the day with the opening of COP 21 and statements by the heads of states. Several high key individuals spoke at the opening of the COP, including the French President, Prince Charles, and the President of COP 21. All of them had the same message; now is the time for the world to work together to form a binding agreement that can save future generations from a greater than 2°C world. As Prince Charles stated in his speech, “No one should give up their tomorrow for our today”. He strongly encouraged the delegates to come to an agreement in Paris so future generations would not suffer.
Today was an amazing experience that I would never have imagined that I would have been able to witness. The rest of this week should bring more insights into how the world will come to an agreement, and how people like me can help make a difference.