Anabela Carvalho's blog

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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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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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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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