One-Planet Talking blog

Picture a hand holding up a small empty picture frame looking out over a bluff above a beach.

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Marianna Poberezhskaya's picture

The Paris deal generally got a very good press. Most reporting in the immediate aftermath had a similar focus on a few key headline points: this was a “landmark victory”, albeit one with a few cautionary notes. Yet a closer look reveals some telling differences.

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Anabela Carvalho's picture

On Saturday morning, as the COP continued past schedule with successive postponements of the release of the agreement text, which was going to be, in all likelihood, a watered down, strategically vague version of what the world needs, I found myself wondering what to do. Having been all week at Le Bourget conference centre as an observer representing IECA, I decided to spend that day on the other side of history, the side of the citizens in the streets of Paris who defiantly organized several demonstrations to express their resolve in struggling for a better planet (eventually authorized by the police the day before).

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Gregg Walker's picture

As I begin to write this, I am sitting a COP 21 plenary room, La Loire, on Saturday 12 December 2015 with two thousand others; from both country delegations and civil society organizations.  We gather in an “overflow” room, watching events taking place in the adjacent plenary room, La Seine.  In that room, French Foreign Minister and COP 21 President Laurent Fabius is highlighting key parts of the “Paris Agreement.”  After more than two decades of negotiations, 196 countries have apparently agreed to a legally binding document to collectively confront the causes and impacts of climate change.

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Chui-Ling Tam's picture

During the 4th Paris Committee meeting on Wednesday Dec 9, as individual countries and regional coalitions responded to the “ambitious” draft text that would be the almost penultimate version of the agreement coming out of COP21, an increasingly powerful and repeated refrain was the “red line” of 1.5 degrees Celsius. Delegate after delegate asserted that 1.5 was the deal-breaker, the line of last defence, the line that defined possibility and certain death for numerous Small Island Developing States and the many states bordering on the oceans.

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Anabela Carvalho's picture

The Conference Centre where the COP21 is being held has seen a plethora of side events in the last two weeks. There are the “official side events”- over 200 according to UNFCCC’s website - and a much greater number held in the national and thematic pavilions. All sorts of topics have been discussed, from agroecology to children’s rights and the “Work of the LEG in supporting the LDCs on NAPs and NAPAs” (that’s a good display of COP lingo for you). And of course business, lots of business.

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Stephen Depoe's picture

I have been reading with interest the many and varied blog posts published by our intrepid IECA colleagues who traveled to Paris for the COP-21 meetings.  Their stories and insights, along with their active participation in various events and side-sessions, have galvanized me anew as to the value and importance of IECA as a stand-alone professional organization.

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Chui-Ling Tam's picture

Sat today by some giant translucent animal figurines for that most furtive and fleeting of COP21 activities – eating lunch – I was approached by a graduate student distributing a questionnaire that has made the annual round of climate change negotiations since COP13 in Bali in 2007, an event that some identify as the pivotal point at which The Blue Economy entered the global lexicon, with its emphasis on oceans.

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Anabela Carvalho's picture

Numbers are a powerful communication code. They carry an appearance of truth and a credibility that tends to be unparalleled by words. Climate-related numbers made headlines around the world again today with the publication of a study on Nature Climate Change that projects a slight decrease of global emissions in 2015. Meanwhile, in Paris, much of the wrangling between parties at the COP21 is about the target of the agreement (which is now in its ‘final’ stages and in the hands of ministers).

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Chui-Ling Tam's picture

Last week, torn between environmental pride and terrorism worry, my 11-year-old told me she had struggled to explain to her school friends what I was doing at COP21. I gave her the main narrative, that human actions were intervening in nature in ways that had contributed to an accelerated rising of the earth’s temperatures, and we had to figure out how to slow, halt or reverse that. Part of my job was to study, explain and improve on communication about threatened environments so that people could design and take effective action. At stake were future generations, like herself and her children and their children. She didn’t think her friends would get it.

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Alison Anderson's picture

At the Paris Climate Summit the media presence is more important than ever. Carola Betzold (University of Gothenburg, Sweden), author of 'Press Briefings in International Climate Negotiations', reflects on which parties to UNFCCC use press briefings, and why.

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