It has been an intense week in Glasgow, as I reflected back during my train back from Paris.
For my 6th COP, I arrived again full of high expectations and optimism, and experienced onsite a mix of excitement, humbleness, disappointment, fear and hope, and sometimes all at once.
Excitement – to be part of such a vibrant and historic mobilization of 30.000 passionate and very diverse people from all around the world. Each had something to say at the hundreds of conferences that happen simultaneously across the blue and green zones. Excitement also to meet old climate friends – active sustainable farmers, rain forest and ocean savers, tree planters, NBS developers, net zero orchestrators, community mobilizers… who this year again have made huge progress, in spite of COVID.
Humbleness – to learn about the adaptation stories of local communities on the climate change frontline, such as Zakir from Bangladesh, who keeps a smile but is already relentlessly working to prepare the adaptation of his community and farming practices which will be submerged by the rising sea level before 2050. “Climate change is already here and nothing can stop it, we need to adapt”.
Disappointment – to see insufficient climate finance for loss and damage to Southern countries, which needs concrete plans to reach those in need (local communities and indigenous people directly impacted), build clear investment frameworks and conditions for financing the 100Bn$ promised per year. Also about article 6 of the Paris Agreement on energy, where an escalation of energy transition to a “fossil fuel free future” is paramount but still much too slow, with fossil fuel subsidy promises reduced abroad but not yet nationally.
Fear – of the trap of “net” zero countries who may offset their way to 1,5degree, of seeing plastic (5th GHG emitting “country”) considered as a plan B for the oil industry, of seeing human rights and climate justice as an increasingly visible challenge.
Hope – with the global methane pledge, the promises on deforestation by 2030, the launch of BOGA (“Beyond Oil and Gaz Alliance”) where for the first time countries set the end of their oil and gas production. Hope also with the bold positioning of the IEA for an energy transition without fossil fuels (but with the caveat: supporting carbon compensation and CCUS technologies, which can
have a counterproductive effect in direct GHG reduction).
All in all, with the new country promises (especially the UE, United States and China), we’ve moved from a PNUE evaluation of #climate projections of a 3,2 °C rise by 2100 to a new projection of 2,7 °C, but there is still a LONG way to go. “We need to act, now, together” came out of about every speech I heard, and this is a real cry for unity and climate justice.
Those are my main takeaways, I’d love to hear about yours!
Thanks to LGI, #RegenerationInternational and Organic Consumers Association for making it possible for me to join.