Discussions at the Paris climate talks take place within incredibly narrow parameters. In fact, it would not be too great an exaggeration to say that the summit’s main purpose is to send the private sector a message about which way it should steer its future investments.
The financial press tends to be the most explicit on this point. The Financial Times, for instance, described the purpose of the Paris summit like this:
Investors will need to be persuaded that governments are going to make it easier for them to make money from a new electric bus system or a wind farm rather than a highway or a coal power plant.
Today began with Elephants in the Room and Chocolate!
I joined Belgian friends to support an EU action outside Le Bourget to highlight the importance of including international aviation and shipping in negotiations, respectively responsible for 5% and 3% of all greenhouse gas emissions. Security restrictions meant that no pink elephants appeared on the scene, but leaflets were discretely distributed.
The Change Chocolate came from Plant a Tree for the Planet specially wrapped for COP21 with a message calling on us all to plant trees and support the planet. Combined with an apple picked 60km away, it made for an interesting breakfast .
It’s hard not to be overwhelmed (bouleversé, knocked over) by the intensity, complexity, sheer scale and fascination of a Conference of the Parties (COP) to the United National Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC)…
Thousands of people milling about with one common purpose in minds: how to bring our world back from the brink of catastrophic run-away climate change and create the chance for a safer future for future generations of all species.
Leaving at a more civilized hour from the youth hostel led to a slightly less civilized trip in the shuttle bus from the RER station. Queuing to get past security gave me an idea of the sheer numbers that the organisers are dealing with at the COP21 site at Le Bourget.
Hard to imagine so many meetings, conversations, information and people can fit into a single day. I guess stalwarts who’ve attended numerous COPs take it in their stride.
Today began with a short briefing for our Climate Action Network Australia (CANA) team, before we walked in to meet Leader of the Opposition, Bill Shorten in one of the formal meetings room available for delegations and side meetings.
An early start, walking with the AYCC/SEED crew to Gare du Nord under streetlights and a sinking moon, since we’d heard it might be difficult to get in today with all the leaders in town.
On the shuttle bus (navette), I met Yhro from Niger. We discussed deforestation, desertification and the unsustainable use of groundwater (nappe phreatique).
My entry into Le Bourget COP21 venue was slow while security officers took an inordinate interest in the Catholic Earthcare and Multifaith SA banners, but I was allowed through once they’d been closely scrutinized and deemed harmless.
Only once before have I attended the UN Climate Summit as a community delegate. It was at COP15 (Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change) in Copenhagen in 2009. I met courageous people from across the world, all clearly committed to doing whatever it takes to tackle climate change for the sake of future generations, many with far fewer resources than I.
A formal review of South Australia’s climate change policies and a proposed Low Carbon Investment Plan is underway, with consultation papers available for comment on the YourSay website, until 18 October 2015.
What do children in the Central African Republic and the Australian Northern Territory have in common?
Children in both countries are likely to suffer from life-threatening wasting which means that they do not weigh enough for their height. In fact, the situation is worse in Australia – 11% compared to 7.4% in Africa. Worryingly, wasting is a strong predictor of early childhood mortality.