Day three and its now bedding into the routine. Walk to the station at Gare du Nord catch train, then hybrid bus, get apple from people handing them out in front of COP21, take belt off for the metal detector, coat in x-ray machine, get coffee, look at the list of hundreds of talks and discussions, decide and get ready for the day. Firstly thank you all for so many emails and tweets of positive feedback on seeing behind the scenes of the conference and for those very few of you who have asked ‘why’ is the NT there (you may well ask)
Change management is at the core of conservation and conservation is about coping and managing with change and adaptation. Change in conservation is good, bad and indifferent. Understanding, influencing, adapting, sharing and so on in order to hand our special places on to future generations is what we (NT) do and always have done. Change is, has and will happen – that’s why we have conservation organizations! For example last decade of NT insurance claims have increased several fold and its much more than inflation (this is one of our many canaries in the mine to tell us we are getting more frequent storms). You can’t argue with increasing insurance claims from weather damage – you can but it’s still a claim. (read the excellent NT update on climate change impacts published a couple of weeks ago LINK) I am here as part of the International National Trust Organisation delegation to make sure heritage, conservation and culture will be heard by the decision makers who are all working on mitigation and adaptation to Climate Change. We are here to share our own approaches but also learn from others. If you’re not inside the process sharing and learning then no mater how much we complain after the event if we were not there and don’t like the solutions then we can only blame ourselves. This is why we are here!
“The impacts of climate change are clear to see at Trust places, whether from increasingly erratic weather events or from long-term changes in temperature and rainfall distribution affecting countryside and buildings, gardens and collections.“The risk of permanent damage to landscape and heritage as a result of not planning for a future with a radically different climate is ever-increasing.” Helen Ghosh, Director General of the National Trust
I am starting to see the dynamics of the of the COP site. It seems to break into 4 aspects. The Observation area where INTO are based you might call ‘influence’ (mild). The huge media area seems like the oil in the machine (It’s telling when Facebook, Google, Instagram and Twitter have stands here… communication is king) The third area is the Climate Generation area. (you could say they have all the energy and solutions) Then in the middle of this whole carnival of climate negotiation is the Government area. This is where the power resides! You can also see the changes in the clothing people wear from area to area. Power is dark suited, Energy is colorful and brash and influence is calm and sensible (I think I am in the wrong tent. scruffy needs its own area)
We had a good meeting with the Claire from the ‘Size of Wales Team’ to share its global contacts with INTO. I had a good chat with Paul Allen from the Center for Alternative Technology in Machynlleth about their ‘what next’ plan. Looking forward to hearing his presentation tomorrow on Zero Carbon Britain and what it could look like. Today the main theme was a farming (tomorrow buildings) and there was a lot of impassioned but also practical talk from indigenous populations who depend on farming. Yes capitalism has played a part in putting pressure on them but the changing climate is one of the biggest threats they have (this is from them). Their culture is disappearing and with it a lot of the solutions of what to do in a time of change. It would make for an interesting debate for skeptics to go head to head with marginalized people of the world who are experiencing the erosion of their ability to exist on a day-to-day basis through the changing climate. Just a thought