A Personal Reflection by Thomas

Everyone woke up from their comfy little warm beds as early as 6 a.m in the morning, in order to held a group meeting. Sleep is optional, I supposed.

One of my daily routine in Paris, is to check the daily COP21 programme from the UNFCCC website. I would like to call the web site a Bible, because it contains every single piece of updated information regarding COP21. My plan for today is to attend the SB informal consultation on the Warsaw International Mechanism for Loss and Damage associated with climate change impacts (such a long title right?) and Climate Action Network (CAN) Daily meeting.There is nothing special happening in the SB informal consultation meeting because the agenda for today was to adopt the draft conclusion proposed by the Chairs. There is some disagreements for the draft context, requesting on changing some grammars and checking for inconsistencies. For example, requesting to change the word ENCOURAGE to URGE as it sound more promising and strong. The draft decision was successfully adopted.

I went to the CAN daily meeting afterwards. The security measures were indeed strict as only selected people were allowed to access the meeting venue. I noticed that everyone was wearing a headphone that is provided by COP21. Unfortunately, I chose not to wear and here is where the silly part kicks in. I was tidying up my homework at that moment and I kept hearing mumbles. After a while, everyone was laughing. Now I know why! The soundproof of the room was so poor. In order to prevent information leak, people choose to listen to the content of the meeting through headphone instead of live voices.

Inevitably to say, CAN daily meeting was very informative and organised. I am really impressed. CAN members separate themselves into different working group and excel from it, such as adaptation working group, mitigation working group, etc. Each group will need to report back the the latest negotiation status of the topic they are in charged in. In other words, you will get all the important information in just half an hour or less. How amazing is that? I will suggest the team to integrate this idea into our MYD daily meeting. While heading back to our base in the evening, I saw a family with lots of luggage. They are trying to carry the luggages (at least 5 big XL size luggages) and climb all the way up from the staircase. The father seemed exhausted. Initially I passed by them and there is a sudden thought that stopped me from walking away. I make a “U- turn” and lend them a helping hand. “Thank you very much young boy!” A simple gesture of thanks from them did make me feel delighted. Helping others in need is my pursuit of my happiness.

At night, there was an Asian Meetup. People from China, Taiwan, Nepal, Indonesia, Japan, Thailand, and Singapore were coming for a dinner. All of us went to a Chinese restaurant named WenZhou for dinner which is located at Belliville Chinatown. Apparently there were many shops that use the name WenZhou and, it was kinda confusing. But we managed to gather together and had a wonderful dinner together. After listening to their conversation, I was amazed by their effort in mobilizing and creating action for the youth in combating climate change. Albeit I am not interested in mobilization, I did felt a sudden adrenaline rush flowing in my vine. I was pumped up!

p.s Another highlight of the day was I found my favorite snack in one of the Asian Market.
Written by : Thomas Lai
Edited by: Merryn Choong

Observers Conversation with Christinana Figures

Observers Conversation with Christinana Figures

“Don’t ever think words that are not exist in the agreement is not part of the solution, solution for climate change is broad”. – Christiana Figueres

christinana Figures

Christinana Figures

 I have decided to attend this session as I am very curious about the major concerns of different Civil Society Organisation (CSO) which attended COP21. Before the session started, I met with a person from Mediators Beyond Borders, who is doing mediation for negotiations. This is my first encounter and it sounds really cool to be part of the conflict management and dispute resolution for negotiations. Never thought there will be a language-based organisation for this matter.

The session started with voices from the floor. Climate Action Network (CAN) raised up the accessibility issue for observers to enter closed meetings once again. The Executive Secretary (ES) responded that currently spin-off meetings have been webcasted and overflow rooms were opened for contact groups meeting.

In addition, observers have access to the documents. I just can’t help wondering why the document isn’t open to public. Are they treating observers just like public in terms of document accessibility? When President Fabius repeatedly mentioned negotiation process should be transparent, inclusive, openness, and trust in several plenary, it created a conflict with the present situation. Fortunately, President Fabius is planning to engage with observers. Let’s hope for a better engagement between both sides.

Executive Secretary (ES) mentioned that the recent contact group meeting was suspended. This is to allow adequate time for negotiators and observers to read through latest release of text.

On behalf of YOUNGO, Lastrina raised question on how can youth & other NGO help to speed up the process in the next 24 hours. She asked if there is any possibility of arranging any meet up with negotiators to seek for inputs. Executive Secretary (ES) replied that conversation with negotiators is normally done during coffee session and casual meet ups. There are only a few delegations who have included youth in their national delegation this year. YOUNGO can lobby further regarding this issue.

She announced that Paris agreement will be adopted in Paris on next FRIDAY (11/12/15) and signed at NY next year. Therefore, Friday should be recognised as a “stay tuned” element by everyone on the floor.

In regards to this matter, I have personally met with a few youths from different countries especially those from developing and least developed countries. They were facing difficulties engaging or even contacting their home negotiation team. I felt unfair for them. I believe YOUNGO and UNFCCC secretariat could push harder in solving this problem.

Lastly, Executive Secretary (ES) explained that the Ad Hoc Working Group on the Durban Platform (ADP) hasn’t reach a solution yet. Some issues are moving forward quicker than before. However, the speed needs to be moderated in order to achieve a comprehensive agreement.

Once again, Christiana emphasized that “Don’t ever think words that are not exist in the agreement is not part of the solution, solution for climate change is broad”.


Written by: Emily

Edited by: Ginger