Kya Raina Lal: Why I came to COP21

As I write this post from Paris on the first day of COP21, there are a few questions I’ve been getting on repeat, so I thought I’d set the record straight.

Between Terrorism and now Tear-gas, many people have asked me why I came to Paris? 

My response? How could I not. 

I couldn’t not be in Paris for COP21.

The historical significance of Paris, made me feel like I had to be here. Had to be at COP21. As a baby academic, COP21 will be the next Kyoto. It will be written about, and shape international academic literature and discourse for years to come. I felt that in order to truly be a future academic. In order to really know the issues, I had to be here, I had to be involved, had to witness these events for myself. In Lima last year at COP20, I promised myself I would be in Paris. I felt like I needed to see through what the Lima Call for Climate Action had created. Further pulling me to the land of Liberté, Égalité, Fraternité.

My second reason for being here, was for the Pacific. The Pacific Government delegations are making an extremely strong show of solidarity against Climate Change, here in Paris. However,  Pacific Youth Representation is once again at a minimum. Making it even more important that I was here. I needed to be here and add my voice to the Pacific’s call for an effective Loss and Damage Mechanism, and our red line of a 1.5oC limit. As well as raise awareness on Pacific issues within the youth constituency YOUNGO, thereby providing our people with better representation

Their second question usually followed very quickly. Aren’t you scared to go to Paris? To be in Paris?

 I am. 

However I’m more scared about the state of Climate and the state of our World. This is why I came to Paris.

All posts by Institute delegates reflect their own thoughts, opinions and experiences, and do not reflect those of the Institute.

Posted on November 30, 2015 and filed under UN Climate Talks 2015.