At a plenary session on Saturday, countries tried to grapple with how to recognise the IPCC report on 1.5 Degrees in writing.
At the seminal COP24, Poland has absolutely nailed their warm welcome of overseas nations to talk about the future of the planet by enacting a protest ban, terrorist alert and turning people away at the border. Also, they’re hosting it in the coal heartland of the EU. Nice.
The inequity of country affluence dictates whose voices are heard and whose are absent. Where the most impacted by climate change are the worlds most vulnerable, the voices of the least impacted dominate the direction of climate solutions.
This COP, NZ will spend its time bragging about our Government ‘ending oil exploration’ (bar endless exceptions), the Zero Carbon Act (which hasn’t even been tabled yet), our ‘visionary’ leadership on ending fossil fuel subsidies (yup you read that right) and perhaps most contradictorily, our ‘equitable’ agricultural policy plan though a series of ‘Ac!ion Agriculture’ side events (including Fonterra’s ‘bold’ plan to install no new coal boilers by...2030?!?). What we won’t be mentioning is our failure to adopt a meaningful emissions regulation framework (neither a tuned-up ETS nor a carbon tax), our lack of inclusion of indigenous voices in the climate korero, a history of dragging our feet on climate negotiations, or our lack of support for Pacific nations.
Between pasture and cropland used to feed livestock, 41% of the land in the U.S.A is used for animal agriculture. In contrast, about 5% of the land is used to feed humans. Sound ridiculous? That’s because it is.
AYLI COP24 team during the Training Weekend in Auckland
Since returning I’ve been subliminally categorising my life as “life before COP” and “life after COP”. I do this because so much shifted, transformed and solidified for me while I was in Bonn and has continued to do so ever since - a journey that has been disheartening yet inspiring and generally intense.