The urgency that is starting to permeate through to me over the last few days is scary, not least because it’s already thursday of the first week of the UN climate negotiations and time is running out in more ways than one, but also because my fellow delegates in the UK team are getting more and more frantic.
As the policy team get further and further into their understanding of the complicated and convoluted treaties and agreements and policies and targets, they seem to be feeling more and more powerless whilst getting more and more knowledgeable. This is one case where you dont want to know as much as you can, if you want stay sunny side up. This is mainly because in general all policies are inadequate, floored and contain ridiculous amounts of loopholes. So! I sense a general shift in the group away from policy and observing negotiations that are chockablock full of acronyms and empty promises; to big, bold and meaning full actions. We as young people here in this bureaucratic hell are feeling disempowered, disenfranchised, and frankly overwhelmed by the wealth of problems that have been created over the last 14 years of negotiations. They have truly tied themselves in knots, it’s not only the fact that the environment is in grave danger, and therefore everyone within it, it’s also that these “United Nations” “Negotiations” are more like “Developed Nations Statement of Intent”. This is not a dialogue process that engages with every area of the world, where there is everything to try for. The negotiations are entirely floored by their complete outnumbering of developing nations representation (e.g Africa which is a whole continent, with not even one delegate per country, and these are the people who face the biggest problems, and come up against countries like the US that has high profile lawyers and negotiators who are payed similar amounts to Africa’s total GDP!)
So where do we go from here?
My personal plan, to try and make the best of a botched system, is to go and speak and chat and engage with whoever I can, in the bleak hope that this will filter through, especially if every young person were to do the same. So we shall see and I shall keep you posted, now it gets heavy.