COP is a global summit aiming to resolve the issues of global warming. With recent reports becoming more and more concerning this is crucial for absolutely every person on the planet. The session focuses on the COP21 which will be held in December in Paris 2015.
We started with a quite lengthy presentation of what COP is and what the most challenging problems are facing the Paris gathering. This was followed by a question and answer session which brought up some quite challenging questions for the speakers.
Comment by one of the attendees:
What expectations can we have for COP21 they are very hard for people to get into?
How can we keep leaders in check and make them stick to their promises?
We have to hope, may be the outcome will not be enough. However, we still have time to put pressure on our the leaders. Governments can no longer hide behind uncertainties about climate change. The evidence is all around us. The reason why young people go to these conferences is precisely to put that pressure and make the change happen. Local initiatives can also make a difference. These must be encouraged and with time and development become a tradition.
We witnessed lots of individual messages to our UK leaders being created over lunch. We know young people do want to challenge leaders to stand up and be counted.
The workshop tackled a range of questions:
1. Mobilising students and action planning before COP21.
This group was unified around the idea that more and more awareness must be raised in order for the students to have the desire to go to the COP, to overcome the feeling that they are simply one drop in the ocean and there is no reason for leaders to listen to them.
2. Local level action planning.
On this table the conversation revolved around what universities can do in sustainability. What the speakers and attendees felt was that even though some universities teach sustainability and there is a positive impact, this is never enough.
3.What we do after COP21.
This group feel that many policies are not followed through because of major corporations don’t yet have sustainability in the Boardroom. Feelings were aired that corporations because of their scale and the lobbying and cosiness and many of them actually fund parties.
I’ll be honest this wasn’t inspirational but I am more knowledgeable and I will be following COP21 in Paris. This is my final post from the workshops, I hope I have given you a good view of today.