How bittersweet today has been. Although it is my final day at COP21 in Le Bourget, my experience has been like no other. After years of hearing about the COP meetings and learning about climate and envrionmental policy in my studies at Moravian, I feel as if I have found my niche and could not think of a better experience than to attend such a prestigous and important event.
I attended an overflow viewing room to watch the negotiations today on the ADP (Ad Hoc working group on the Durban Platform for enhanced action) - a mouthful I know. I'd like to stress the importance for these meetings to be displayed in viewing rooms for observers because it creates a transparant political process that adds to the two-way process. What an exciting event and educational experience no classroom lecture could ever teach. No book could explain to you the tension, anxiety, and passion of delegates as they work through a document and raise questions or concerns about terminology, relevance, and importance of words. People may wonder why the process may go so slow, but in watching such meetings one will certainly begin to understand. Sometimes formalities along with confusion on processes burden the meetings' time constraints and I feel as if it be best to diminish such causes to increase the efficiency of the process, but no political process is perfect, unfortunately the same goes for COP meetings, especially since a consensus is needed for approval of documents and it is a lot harder than you think to get a developed nation and a small island nation to agree on the same thing.
Here is a link to the document the delegates were working on: http://firstname.lastname@example.org
As you can see, there are numerous brackets around phrases, sentences, and paragraphs. These represent where the language is not finalized and still needs a consesus approval. When I first looked at the document I couldn't believe it's length as well as all the brackets it contained. How could we ever get an agreement? But we have to be optimistic that these representatives will continue to fight for action and continue to realize the ever decreasing amount of time and increasing amount of destruction from climate change.
I cannot wait to see if the goal for the ADP draft to be finalized by Saturday at noon, since when I left at 4 PM Friday they had not moved on from Article 2. We must stay hopeful and be the agents of change the world needs. You can make a difference right at home, it's as simple as walking or riding a bike instead of driving a car, switching of a light switch when leaving a room, planting a tree, recycling, unplugging chargers from walls when not in use, as well as advocating local elected officials to take action on energy efficiency, public transport, and adoption of climate/ environmental action policy. We are all agents of change and we need to work for the world that we want.
Here are some images from througout my week in Paris:
This image along with others can be found displayed throughout the city raising awareness for actions on climate change now. (Translation "Act for Climate)
The Eiffel Tower took on a new look this week with a light show projection of a growing forest and changing phrases related to climate change action.
Last image walking out of the Le Bourget COP21 venue.
Happy COP21-ing this is will be an experience I will never forget!
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