One of the most beautiful things I saw on my facebook feed last week were some angels at Republique, the scene of the attacks last month. Those same angels appeared at the entrance to the UN zone at the climate talks out at Le Bourget the other day as we walked into the centre. Today it was the Greenpeace polar bear, Aurora, roaring at everyone. But whatever is set up to amuse us on the way in, there’s no getting around it: we’re heading to the pointy end of the Paris agreement, and it’s no longer really about pictures. It’s all about words. The text.
I’ve been here a few times now: these last 48 hours at a climate talks where nobody gets any sleep, and everybody’s obsessed with the regular new rounds of the draft agreement.
We’ve been waiting all day: governments battled over words all night last night, and the French Environment Minister Fabius’s team started drafting a new version of the draft agreement early this morning.
Continue reading “Will the Paris agreement side with the angels?”
I’ve been in Paris for over a week now, and the speed at which everything goes past, including time, is frightening. I think the 40,000 expected have now all arrived. I’m getting worried the only Eiffel Tower I’ll see is the one made of red folding chairs at the end of the “Champs Elysee” at the meeting.
We began last week with the Heads of State arriving and making grand statements about grandchildren, climate impacts, the importance of the issue, etc..
Arnold Schwarzenegger was here today, Richard Branson was here yesterday. We’ve had Leo Dicaprio, Sean Penn, Al Gore, Jane Goodall, Sylvia Earle: a veritable feast of celebrity and wisdom. Ben & Jerry’s are giving out free ice cream.
There’s been major announcements on progress from climate finance, to cities taking action, and absolutely everything and anything to do with climate change and workers, and indigenous peoples, and everything else under the sun. There’s a lot of noise, everyone trying to get their message heard. My quote of the day today was a journalist saying “my inbox is my enemy.”
Now we’re into the second week and the French Presidency is doing its best to keep this show on the road. After a week of officials fighting over the text, we saw the Draft Paris Outcome (note: not “agreement” but “outcome”) posted on the UNFCCC website on Saturday, and government ministers took over from officials on Sunday. Continue reading “1.5 to stay alive: big issues for small countries as Paris climate talks get down to nitty gritty”