A view from the outside
Unity, Diversity, Sharing of Knowledge and Great Comradery of the World’s People as They Gathered in Paris for Alternative Civil Society Group during COP21
Despite the increase of security in Paris and the dark cloud looming after the attacks, French Civil Society as well as those who travelled to the COP proved that when people are united nothing can stop them fighting for climate justice and peace.
Having travelled to Paris for this COP, I witnessed- firsthand- the enormous tenacity of French Civil Society groups, as well as civil society groups from around the world, who ignored their government’s call not to gather. Instead, the civil society alternative was well organized and events were hosted on the streets, community centers and religious institutions of Paris (From East to West; from North to South).
These events brought people from diverse backgrounds together to share knowledge and raise concerns of how they have been impacted upon in their localities. Through workshops, engaging discussions, debates and various actions, the cold city was set ablaze, reaching a fever pitch with the proposed resolutions which included: a more powerful global campaign against climate injustice, moving away from fossil fuels towards renewable energy sources, reducing carbon emissions, investing more in local production and skills, zero waste and educating the youth (primarily) so that they can pass the baton on to future generations.
It is evident that activists from around the world are putting a lot of effort in trying to stop the destruction of mother-nature, marine life, animals and humans. By coming together, we have seen that change lies in our hands and that the global UN conference is not going to find viable solutions. In fact, the climate crisis is going to get worse. The stark reality is that the people who have the potential to create great changes are being excluded from the process. Instead, an elite minority with access to the COP make decisions for the masses, outside. This is quite ironic, as it seems to be the same model which has intensified the crisis.
The leaders (who are elected by the people), together with the big corporations, are in collaboration halting the necessary measures needed to stop this runaway climate catastrophe. The agreed resolution of COP fell far short of what is required and tolerable to improve the climate and the lives of the world’s poorest. Furthermore, the solutions are not binding and do not speak to the root cause of this enormous problem. Yes, reducing global carbon emissions is important, but equally, if not more so, is how we are going to go about doing this which was conveniently evaded at the Paris talks. Perhaps this is the case because fully acknowledging the problem would be a brilliant start to finding effective resolutions; this was the definitive moment we were hoping for in Paris that never came.
A giant step is required by those responsible so that the world we yearn for is possible. There is no time, but the present to act. Those who are concerned about profits need to be pushed aside so that these changes can happen to protect our present and future generations from this crime against, not only humanity, but all life forms on this Earth.