Meeting Inspiring People in COP21 – Pt. 2

Meeting Inspiring People in COP21 – Pt. 2

Pavlos_photo

Hi! I am Pavlos Georgiadis from Greece. I am an ethnobotanist, activist and start-up entrepreneur. I worked as a researched in 11 countries in Europe, Asia and America before returning to Greece in 2012, where I focus on agrifood innovation, participatory rural development and environmental politics.

What do you do for a living? 

I have created Calypso, one of Greece’s first family farming startups, after the financial crisis hit home at 2011. This is an attempt to revitalise an ancient olive grove on the north-eastern coast of Greece, through a combination of local food traditions and agroecology. I have also co-founded We Deliver Taste, a food innovation company which tries to connect good food producers with responsible consumers.

What is your role in Paris COP21? What are you looking forward in this conference?

I was at COP21 as member of the international Climate Tracker team. We have been following the climate negotiations very closely over the last few months, and we were in Paris for the final round. Our aim was to put our negotiators in the national spotlight and climate change on the front pages of the world’s media. Our team has published more than 400 articles during the two weeks of the COP, adding a small contribution to these negotiations.

What are the major climate changes induced disasters that may affect your country?

Greece has more than 6000 islands, and more than 200 of them are inhabited. All these communities are potentially on the front line of climate disasters. Being a member of the European Union, Greece belongs to the worlds’ most developed nations. However, the debt crisis has led to a 25% reduction of the country’s GDP in the last five years, leaving half of its youth unemployed. With the economy in such a grim situation, and the social welfare system totally dismantled, what worries me most is how Greece is going to catch up with its commitments towards climate action.

What are you or your organisation / government doing in your country on climate change?

Against a background of government inaction against climate change, the civil society is on the move in Greece. There is virtually no media coverage of the issue in the country. There is no public understanding of the problem and our biggest task in 2016 is to change that. Unfortunately, not many people from Greece participated in COP21, however,

the few of us that were in Paris are already discussing ways of bringing climate change to the public dialogue.

This occurs in a social setting where people are worried about plundering incomes and unemployment. The challenge is to turn this around, and offer plausible alternatives for a new economy that is climate resilient, socially inclusive and empowering to citizens. This is a process that involves multi-stakeholder consultations, campaigning and advocacy. What makes our work in Greece interesting is that, in lack of funds and political sense, we the citizens will have to do on our own.

Any tips you learn at COP that you would like to share with us? 

Amidst so much war and conflict around the world, with the youth challenged by decisions taken from the previous generation, we must bear in mind that the world has agreed to solve this problem. And it is us, the youth, that need to claim our role and responsibility in this effort.

The COP should remind us that here we have a unique opportunity to steward our planet. Do we want to be part of this process and now?

Do you have any upcoming events happening that you would like to share with us?

There are three major events in 2016, that should definitely draw the attention of active citizens around the world:

  • Habitat III – the UN Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development  – Quito, Ecuador; 17-20 October, 2016.
  • Convention on Biological Diversity COP13 – Cancun, Mexico; 4-17 December 2016
  • World Humanitarian Summit  – Istanbul, Turkey; 23-24 May, 2016

Have you attend any parallel / side events at Paris other than COP21? If yes, can you highlight the event(s)? 

My stay in Paris started with a prayer ceremony by indigenous communities at a park opposite Bataclan, on the site where victims of the Paris attacks lost their lives a few days before the COP21 begins. Being a Climate Tracker, after the COP started I had to spend most of my time at Le Bourget, where the negotiations were taking place. I have followed the discussions on climate solutions related to regenerative agriculture and agroforesty. I also listened to a very interesting lecture by Prof. Jeffrey Sachs on Deep Decarbonisation.


nesha

Hello, I am Nesha Ichida from Indonesia. I’m an online bachelor student studying Natural Science at the Open University UK. With this I’m also doing volunteer jobs and internships to gain more field work experience before I graduate. My passion is mainly on wildlife research and conservation but focusing more on the marine site. Although 2 years ago, I’ve put an interest in sustainable living as well after seeing the effects of climate change in my country and in the Arctic.

Tell us your purpose at COP21 and what you are looking forward at COP21?

As one of the Indonesian youth delegates, to speak at the youth session at the Indonesian pavillion, build international network, and to interview several scientist and climate activist for the “Youth4Planet Program”.

I would like to know what are the major climate changes induced disasters that may affect your country?

Forest fires, coral bleaching, drought, floods, El Nino, animal extinctions, food shortages, health and economy risk.

What are you or your organisation / government doing in your country on climate change?

Personally, I am still doing my best to raise awareness on the importance of sustainable living and reducing our carbon footprint through social media as I think every bit of change from each of us counts.

Any tips you learn at COP that you would like to share with us?

It is important to keep our goal in mind and not let green washing companies influence us. We need to build international connection to combat this problem and we youths are the ones who need to get involve the most as our future are what is at stake.

Have you attend any parallel / side events at Paris other than COP21? If yes, can you highlight the event(s)?

  • Earth To Paris (Petit Palais), meeting my two conservation heroines, Dr. Jane Goodall and Dr. Sylvia Earle. And also watching all the other celebrities talk about the importance for action in climate change
  • Exxon vs People Mock trial court (somewhere in Paris), listening to all the witness from around the world whom have been affected by climate change and how the fossil fuel industry have destroyed their home was devastating but very eye opening as well.

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Dian Anggraini was selected as a member of the mentor for Indonesian Youth Delegation for COP 16 UNFCCC in Cancun Mexico, COP17 UNFCCC in Durban, South Africa, COP 18 UNFCCC in Qatar and Indonesia Delegation for COP 21 UNFCCC in Paris.

In January 2011, Ms. Dian was trained by the Honorable Al-Gore and joined The Climate Reality Project Indonesia, a non-profit organization that serves as the Indonesian component of a grassroots movement of more than 7,800 diverse and dedicated volunteers worldwide. In the last four years she has been active as a Climate Leader, speaking and presenting about the climate crisis and its solution to the general public skills.

In the same year, Dian also participated in The Asia Pacific Leadership Congress in Melbourne, Australia.  Organized by the Australian Conservation Foundation, the congress focused on leadership, communication and engagement skills to influence and mobilize communities for a healthy environment.

In 2013, Dian participated in Climate Change Educator Skill Share and internship in The Climate Reality Project Australia for 8 weeks.

“Since the training, I appeared in international forums as well as local forums to present climate issues to various fields. I obtained climate knowledge from the training, as well as other media and events that I have participated in. As a climate leader, I like to communicate and connect with my audience especially towards the youth. I like to share some of my sustainable habits I picked up along my journey to my community especially at work and school.”

Tell me Dian, what are you looking forward at COP21?

My aims at Paris COP21 are to support our Indonesia negotiators and to help running activities in Indonesia Pavilion. I believe all our activities in Indonesia Pavilion are worth spreading and I believe our Indonesia negotiators succeeded in giving good inputs for the Paris Agreement. I hope all countries are genuinely concern and ready to cooperate to reduce the impacts of climate change for a better life.

What are the major climate changes induced disasters that are affecting your country?

Haze and Dryness resulting from summer long and forest fires.

What are you or your organisation / government doing in your country on climate change?

We are working together with the government and other community to provide communications and education to the youth and to hold climate-related activities for students such as Indonesia Youth for Climate Change , FGD and seminars.

Any tips you learn at COP21 that you would like to share with us?

Always use the social media to communicate “climate change issues” and coordinate with the government, relevant organizations and communities to promote climate awareness activities.

Do you have any upcoming events happening on Post-COP that you would like to share with us?

Yes we have upcoming Post-COP21 events but we are still organizing them.


barretteHello, I am Naomi Ages from United States. I am the Climate Liability Project Lead at Greenpeace USA.  I work on establishing legal, political, financial, and social liability for climate change.  I also work on our climate justice campaign.  I am a lawyer by training and have previously worked on human rights and asylum issues. I focused on environmental law and international law in law school and planned to make it my career. At the COP21, I worked mainly on loss and damage and as a US policy advisory for the Greenpeace delegation. I also helped interpret and advise on general issues of international law and US law.

What are the major climate changes induced disasters that may affect your country?

In the US, major climate-change induced disaster are hard to attribute, scientifically. There is some evidence that the drought in California, super-storm Sandy, and the warming in Alaska are all being worsened by climate change.  In addition, low-lying cities like New York and New Orleans are threatened by rising sea levels and future storms.

What are you or your organisation / government doing in your country on climate change?

  1. The Obama administration has made climate change a “signature issue” and has instituted the Clean Power Plan to reduce emissions.
  2. Additionally, a number of sub-national actors (cities and states) have invested in renewable and pledged to reduce emissions faster than the US government has mandated)
  3. Greenpeace runs a climate and energy campaign that focuses on “keep it in the ground”, ending coal leasing and production, “green my internet”, and political lobbying where possible.

Any tips you learn at COP21 that you would like to share with us?

This was my first COP so it’s hard to say I have tips but I think not getting caught up in rumors is important. Also that trust between organizations and between delegates and observers is the key.

Have you attend any parallel / side events at Paris other than COP21? If yes, can you highlight the event(s)?

  • WECAN – “Women on the front lines of climate change” which was held at the Marriott Ambassador Hotel in Paris
  • “What Exxon Knew and what Exxon did anyway” hosted by Matt Pawa and CIEL and was held at Light Loft and Skies in Paris.

Written by Jolene

Meeting Inspiring People in COP21 – Jolene Journe T, Pt. 1

Meeting Inspiring People in COP21 – Jolene Journe T, Pt. 1

liaHello, I am Hilyatuz Zakiyyah (Lia) from Indonesia. I work at the Office of President’s Special Envoy on Climate Change Indonesia. I am a communication specialists who concern about environmental issues especially climate change. I grew up in a family of musician who also loves nature and it gave me big influence for me. My passion for environmental conservation developed more and more as I get older. I also love to sing and dance as well, just like my family.

At Paris COP21: What is your role and what you are looking forward at COP21?

I was part of the committee members for Indonesia Pavilion at COP21. I helped organizing the seminar sessions in the Pavilions and also in charge of the Youth Session which gathered youth leaders from several countries. As COP21 was my first COP, I was particularly interested in making contacts with various organizations and learn more about events organized in COP21.

What are the major climate changes induced disasters that may affect your country?

As an archipelago country with more than 17,000 islands, Indonesia is very vulnerable to the impact of climate change. Based on data from National Agency for Disaster Relief, almost 80% of the disasters in Indonesia are climate related. A record from 1982 – 2012, the disasters in Indonesia were dominated by flood (4121 cases), landslide (1983 cases), typhoon (1903 cases), and drought (1414 cases). Furthermore, as 60% of Indonesians live in coastal areas, sea inundation from the sea level rise will threat tens of millions of people to be displaced.

What are you or your organisation / government doing in your country on climate change?

The youth for climate change focuses on awareness raising campaigns as well as capacity building for members and youth in the network. It discusses about the basic of climate change and climate actions that can be done locally by youth. We have established several branches in Indonesia which all have developed their own program and initiatives.

Any tips you learn at COP that you would like to share with us?

As I have to stand by at the Indonesia Pavilion, I listened and learn a lot from the 55 seminars and lectures organized in the Indonesia Pavilion. I am intrigued by several clean technologies displayed and installed in the area of COP21 and several public spaces in Paris. Some of them are quite interesting such as the charging stations which energy derived from the cycling activity; rented electric cars, solar panel to light up an installation in Champs Elysees, etc.

Do you have any upcoming events happening at COP or Post-COP that you would like to share with us?

With fellow young Indonesians from Youth for Climate Change, we will organize a panel discussion to discuss about youth actions on climate change according to Paris Agreement. Several of us will also join the training by Al Gore from the Climate Reality Project Philippine in March 14-16, 2016.

Have you attend any parallel / side events at Paris other than COP21?

I was attending the Transport Day on Sunday, December 6th at International Union of Railway in Paris where I can attend several sessions related to sustainable transport. I was particularly interested in the topic of creating a walk able city.


JedHello, I am Joseph Edward Alegado or Jed from the Philippine. I am currently a student at the International Institute of Social Studies in The Hague, Netherlands. I was a former Media and Communications Officer of Oxfam in the Philippines. As a Media and Communications Officer, I did some campaigning for food and climate justice as part of Oxfam’s GROW campaign.

At Paris COP21,  I am a Climate Tracker for the Adopt a Negotiator Project, a group of 10-15 young climate trackers from around the world who are tracking the negotiations and ensuring that negotiators will come up with a fair and binding agreement in Paris.

What are the major climate change induced disasters that are affecting your country?

Extreme weather events like Typhoon Haiyan in 2013 have frequented the Philippines. We also have experienced slow-onset impacts like El Nino,

What are you or your organisation / government doing in your country on climate change?

The Philippine government is quite active in climate change adaptation especially that we are not one of the biggest emitters of greenhouse gases. We have a Climate Change Commission which is tasked to implement the National Climate Change Action Plans and oversee the Local Climate Action Plans of local government units.

Any tips you learn at COP21 that you would like to share with us?

It pays if you brush up on the geo-politics and history of the UNFCCC.

Do you have any upcoming events happening on Post-COP21 that you would like to share with us?

None as of the moment. But I am trying to help Adopt a Negotiator build a youth network here in The Netherlands.

Have you attend any parallel / side events at Paris other than COP21? If yes, can you highlight the event(s)?

  • Climate Vulnerability Forum – During the first day of COP 21, the Philippines led the Climate Vulnerability Forum High Level Meeting in Hall 6 where UNFCCC’s Cristina Figueres led the meeting.
  • ASEAN High-Level Meeting with the ASEAN Secretary-General Thailand Pavillion December 8, 2015 It was a meeting of ASEAN youths in COP 21 with the ASEAN SG.
  • Sustainable Practices in the Dutch Workplace – December 4, 2015. This event shows how sustainable practices in the workplace can be implemented.

niodeKarida Niode, Indonesia. I am currently a Masters of Sustainability Management student at Columbia University in the City of New York. I have been active in volunteering for sustainable development and environment related practices since I was 14. I work closely with climate change and environmental protection NGOs, particularly the Climate Reality Foundation in Indonesia.

I wanted to participate in the Indonesian youth for climate change event to share my experiences on youth and sustainable development in Indonesia and abroad. I volunteered with the Indonesian Delegation to help out with the pavilion. I also felt that it was highly important for me to take part in this historic climate conference (so far), not only because it is related to my passion of sustainable development but also to refine my network and knowledge about climate change.

What are the major climate changes induced disasters that are affecting your country?

Flooding, droughts and forest fires

What are you or your organisation / government doing in your country on climate change?

The organization I am volunteering for i.e. The Climate Reality Project work to educate the public about the reality of climate change and promote both local and global solutions. Our members have diverse backgrounds which includes business leaders, professionals, educators, athletes, musicians, scientists, actors, students and religious leaders.

Any tips you learn at COP21 that you would like to share with us?

It is very useful to attend side events from different organizations/ countries because based on personal experience, you can gain so many useful knowledge regarding policies, technologies, etcetera. It also enables me to meet new people and expand my network generally.

Do you have any upcoming events happening on Post-COP that you would like to share with us?

Ones that I am directly involved – no solid plan yet currently. I am currently just focusing on my education. But I can contact you once something comes up.

Have you attend any parallel / side events at Paris other than COP21? 

  • Youth session at the Indonesian Pavilion, Friday 11 December: Discussion and sharing of best practices of youth actions on climate change between youths from all over the world
  • Nature Knows Best at the Indonesian Pavilion, Wednesday 9 December: The Sugar Palm Potential for Energy and Reforestation
  • Sustainable Landscape in Sumatra at the Indonesian Pavilion, Monday 7 December: Discussion of processes mainly for for-profit companies to turn pledge into practice.

 


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William Cheng, Taiwan. 程煒倫 – 就讀台大農藝學系(Dept. of Agronomy, National Taiwan University),現任台灣青年氣候聯盟公關籌募長,以農業糧食角度關注氣候變遷,並重視國際與台灣未來能源發展。

2015年前往米蘭世博『Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life』2015年底前往巴黎聯合國氣候變遷大會以環團申請觀察員(Observer)進入會場。

亞洲糧食作物受氣候變遷影響尤其嚴重,農業是人類糧食、同時是能源(生質燃料)、亦為文化。

農業調適是承受傷害的一種被動方式,我們更有權力站出來捍衛,主動求世界減排。

What are the major / potential climate change induced disasters that are affecting your country?

氣候變遷的極端氣候導致台灣颱風頻率與強度更大,摧殘農作物,土壤無法吸收驟雨形成逕流,嚴重影響我們水資源上的利用,除此之外未來乾旱可能的頻率更增加。

What are you or your organisation doing in your country on climate change issues?

台灣青年氣候聯盟TWYCC(Taiwan Youth Climate Coalition)為台灣第一個以青年為主運作的環境NGO,同時也以台灣環境議題的青年交流平台為宗旨,擴展青年氣候行動。國際上我們研究各國政策,並且撰寫文章、發起活動推廣,透過青年與媒體網路的力量去影響政府與大眾。

同時組織內不同專業青年追蹤各項在地議題:從水資源、農業、能源、環保…,從大眾生活去推廣氣候變遷。在台灣亦有發起工作坊、讀書會、氣候培訓營、攤位、遊行等活動。

青年氣候培力營TPS(Taiwan Power Shift) 與 350.org 合作,舉辦 Taiwan Power Shift 氣候行動培訓營,把國際氣候行動之力量帶回台灣。邀請亞洲友好青年組織,透過議題探討、培訓工作坊、國際氣候談判實境遊戲、氣候行動創意提案競賽等豐富的兩天活動,在台灣激發更多青年瞭解國際氣候議題,進而為氣候變遷起身行動。

根據台灣INDC,預計在2030年溫室氣體排放量為現狀發展趨勢(BAU)減量50%;相當於比2005年排放水準再減20%。調適部分尚未明確。

How active is youth participation in your country?

普遍青年尚未意識到氣候變遷的嚴重性,但對於化石燃料排放造成之空汙與核能議題非常關注。我們青年組織正嘗試透過大眾關注之子議題連結到氣候變遷母議題。

Any tips about environment / your learning at COP21 that you would like to share to us?

以青年是否有影響力作為分享。常有人質疑青年是否具影響力,但實際上青年的影響力比我們想像的還要大。在主會場,青年壟斷與掌握了某程度之上的氣氛控制,是Youngo可向秘書處申請獨有的,不管是海報、宣言、發起Campaign,這些都會帶給COP各國與會代表一定程度潛意識上的影響,進而潛移默化的影響各國代表做出決策(故事典故:三人成虎、曾母投杼)。COP21談判會場瀰漫氣氛原為2度C,降至1.5度C,甚至到最後草案產出,青年之會場影響著實不無功勞。(青年行動亦會緩和現場緊張沈悶氣氛)

Do you have any upcoming events happening on Post-COP21 that you would like to share with us?

會在七月暑假舉辦青年氣候培訓營Taiwan Power Shift,敬邀各國青年共同參與,營隊將模擬COP談判會場實境,並且結合遊戲與表演,還原COP現場。透過工作坊與講者演講讓大塚體會了解相關氣候變遷知識。誠摯邀請國際青年一同參與。

Written by Jolene

Change Begins with Choice

Change Begins with Choice

Yes, this time I didn’t let the opportunity slip away.

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Elaine See (MYD15) addressing the SBSTA Closing Plenary during #COP21

Fearing the pain of remorse, I forced myself to grab the intervention-given the chance when Adrian told us, that the Climate Action Network needed a female representative to deliver the speech. I was overwhelmed by the fear that my English was not good enough; paralyzed by my own hesitation and doubt to deliver a one-minute speech. However, this experience proved me wrong! Coming to the end of it, I can say it is not about asking whether I can, but how bad I want it!

When I got my intervention script and started to practice, challenges struke, and my excitement transformed into nervousness. Being tongue-tied and slow at first (need to speed up so that I can finish the intervention in one minute), I continued to practice relentlessly. “This is my only choice”, I thought to myself.

Things didn’t go smoothly ( It never seems to). When I was able to read the script nice and fluent, I began to feel a discomfort in my throat. The SBSTA closing plenary was then delayed from 4.30pm to 7pm, 8pm, and then further to 9pm. I was actually on the verge of relinquishing my task.

However, I was pumped up when I imagined myself appearing on the 4 big screens in the big plenary hall and being heard by the Parties and the Chair. Opportunity to talk at the plenary is something that many civil society members are hoping for, especially the youth, because chances of them being heard and being recognized by the convention are comparatively rare.
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My heart thumped so fast, almost jumping out of my chest, when it was my turn to give the speech! But it was such an amazing experience. I am extremely grateful to have great support from Adrian and my team. Words cannot express my indebtedness and gratitude to them for all the love, support and motivation. I wish one day I can have a deeper insight on the plenaries so I can draft the whole script on my own and present it.

Written By: Elaine See
Edited By: Merryn Choong

Full Text

Thank you Madam Chair,

I am Elaine See from Climate Action Network.

Responding to the climate crisis requires decisive action across all sectors.

But the Subsidiary Body of Science and Technological Advice (SBSTA) reports presentations demonstrate that International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) and International Maritime Organisation (IMO) are failing to address the significant climate impacts of aviation and shipping.

18 years after Kyoto, these emissions are growing at a rate twice that of all other sectors. The Paris Agreement must send a clear signal that ICAO and IMO must make a fair contribution to limiting temperature increase to 1.5 degrees.

On agriculture, CAN appreciates Parties’ positive engagement in Paris.

Parties should evaluate methodologies to ensure on-the-ground results while including considerations and safeguards to protect and promote food security, biodiversity, equitable access to resources, the right to food, animal welfare, and the rights of indigenous peoples and local populations, while promoting poverty reduction and adaptation.

Ongoing efforts to ensure sufficient finance for adaptation and for a Global Goal on Adaptation should also be supported.

We request SBSTA to help identify options to enhance food security to protect the livelihoods of small-scale farmers.

Thank you.

Dialogue with Mr. Al Gore

Dialogue with Mr. Al Gore

“As human beings, we are vulnerable to confusing the unprecedented with the improbable. In our everyday experience, if something has never happened before, we are generally safe in assuming it is not going to happen in the future, but the exceptions can kill you and climate change is one of those exceptions.” -Al Gore

Albert Arnold “Al” Gore, Jr. is an American politician and environmentalist who served as the 45th Vice President of the United States from 1993 to 2001 under President Bill Clinton. He is well known for his work on environmental issues. On December 10, 2007, Al Gore was awarded as a Nobel Prize winner, for his unwavering dedication in combating global warming.

I believe everyone who are involved in climate change or environment activism have heard of his name. Yesterday, I had the privilege to attend a dialogue with Mr. Al Gore, along with other observer organizations. It was a day filled with wisdom, hopes and possibilities.

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During his opening speech, he was pleased that the role of civil society in COP21 is the strongest among all the conferences he attended. In fact, the civil society have grown to be more engaged and representative over the years. Al Gore emphasized that it is immoral to continue emitting carbon emission and let the rest of the world suffer due to one’s actions. Private sectors, states and governments (delegates) must take the lead in curbing climate change.

Al Gore also provided insights on how the United States of America takes up rapid progress in curbing climate change despite the differences in political power. Seventy-eight percent of electric utilities that was built in the U.S in 2015 were powered by solar and wind energy. By shifting conventional energy to renewable energy, it will eventually open up possibilities for electrification of transportation. This idea could be adopted by our home country, Malaysia in the near future too. During the dialogue, there was a question asked on how to create and facilitate a soft landing in stranded assets. Many are concerned that if the environment wins the game, fossil fuel will be a total game over. All assets that are regards to fossil fuel and other finite resources will be devalued or converted to liabilities. Al-Gore replied that in order to avoid hard landing, divestment should start now but not later. People should start to discontinue in investing “hard” assets. Furthermore, he believes that the top agenda item after COP21, will be on the accessibility of green money/fund.

Al Gore also expressed his hope that green credit or funds that is affordable to be established. His hope resonates with me. Renewable energy is an excellent investment because there is minimal, in fact, almost no marginal cost aside from capital cost. Traditional energy requires the burning of fossil fuel (margin cost) to generate energy, whereas renewable energy such as solar energy does not undergo any burning, or chemical process that emits undesired side product. it is no doubt that job opportunities need to be opened to all renewable energy sector!

One of the civil society representative expressed her concern on the hard life of Arctic-ian due to climate change, fossil fuel extraction and land intrusion. Al Gore understood the challenges faced by the natives. At the same time, he expressed his gratitude to civil society for their effort in stopping the progress of drilling fossil fuel in Arctic. For those who are not aware, the smoke emitted from various industries, whether transboundary or local, is dispersed into the atmosphere, leading to the formation of black snow. Dark objects have the tendency to absorb more heat. In other words, black snow accelerate the melting process of Arctic ice. This amplifies the impact of climate change. In regard to this issue, Al Gore hopes, wishes, pledges and wants the Arctic to become a fossil fuel free and intrusion free country. My first thought after his speech: There is hope for polar bears!

On top of these, there is also a question related to how civil society can play an active role in COP. Al Gore answer is relatively straightforward. He urged the civil society to lobby their own government and provide assistance if necessary. Furthermore, youth in the room were also actively involved in the dialogue. Their questions were similar, revolving around the concern of how youth can be taken as real stakeholders, to have their voice projected and heard. In response to this, Al Gore gave his assurance to the youth that young people have been the vanguard of reformation. He advises the youth on 3 different approaches. Firstly, YOU-th need to become an activist and at the same time, win the conversation in climate change. Determination and persistence is the key to it. Next, YOU-th should embark and embrace on becoming the shifter for green and sustainable technology. YOU-th possess high consumer power and the market depend on such demand as well. Thirdly, YOU-th should actively involved in political process. Despite the external changes, such as pressure from NGOs and private sectors, change within the system is crucial and indispensable.

“Political will itself is a renewable resources”. Mr. Al Gore ended his speech with this meaningful quote that struck a responsive chord with his audience. He believed that all problems can be overcome if climate crisis is resolved. We should all learn from leaders like Al Gore. I have so much respect for this man, who took the initiative in moving forward a whole range of initiatives that have proven to be important to a country’s economic growth and environmental protection, including the improvements in educational system. He worked to try to improve the quality of life, not just in the U.S, but in a world that we all share.

Written by: Thomas

Edited by: Merryn

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