Its been an interesting experience. Attending a week of COP21 at Paris but also coming back home and looking from the outside in. Oh and also experiencing the weather back home just to underline the process. First things first. Well done to the French for their diplomacy skills and knitting one of the most complex issues into a direction of travel which all of us seem to be committed to. 2C target is a nice figure and also an ambition to reach 1.5c global climate temp rise. This is the first time the nations of the world have committed to an agreed target. But please remember the ones we met in Paris who are already resigned to leaving their communities or should we say their countries in the Pacific which will be uninhabitable in the next decade or so. Countries in Africa have already breached the 1.5C and are suffering with desertification and drought. the 1.5C global average is based on ocean temperatures. Extremes on land will continue
Scale – I wish you could have seen the scale of the undertaking at COP21 not just the simple fact of trying to save civilisation as we know it but the conference itself. 50,000 attendees, thousands of meetings, presentations and workshops. As part of the INTO delegation we were a very small cog inside a very small machine, inside a slightly bigger cog… see where I am going with this. Having practitioners there to help policy is vital
Diversity – Melting pot is an over used word for a meeting of cultures. this was not melting of cultures but a recognition of those cultures and their value to the debate. Climate change is decimating these aspects as much as glaciers. I met so many of them who are right at the raggedy edge
Purpose – the feedback from the COP ites was that this was one of the most positive events they had been to. A lot of homework and diplomacy had gone in before the event got off the ground. there was a mood of a ‘lets get on with it’ through the whole event
…and now what? There is a lot of global stuff left to do. We can’t influence that but we can in our own little cog way do our part. What really got me thinking having met so many people in COP was how my life, my job, my organisation, my country impacts people I will never meet. My resource use, my carbon emission, my waste really does make an impact. Then I look at the organisation I work for which is shifting gear on reducing its impact but we need to find another gear if we are to contribute to what the world agreed to in Paris yesterday. I don’t think we know what a zero carbon world looks like. But we are supposed to be living in it by 2050. PS. We have also just had half a years worth of rain in Wales in the last 6 weeks (and it rains a lot in Wales over a year). help others to help ourselves!