ANYONE who thought that the current United Nations (UN) climate negotiations in Copenhagen were just about people in suits talking gibberish (UN speak) would be surprised by the colourful actions at Bella Center. The centre is where the 15th UN Climate Change Conference (COP15) is being held until 18 Dec 2009.
Environmental activists, youths, indigenous people and others are out in full force at COP15. All of them are utilising their creativity in a last-ditch attempt to influence the negotiations, the most important since the less-than-successful Kyoto Protocol. From flash dancing and magic shows to wandering aliens, the conference centre is always abuzz with civil society-led actions.
For farmers and indigenous people, their livelihoods are on the line unless a bold and meaningful climate change treaty is signed. For people from small island nation states like Tuvalu and the Maldives, whether they will literally stay afloat amid rising sea levels is being negotiated now. For the poor worldwide, their survival is under threat unless there is money and technology transfer from industrialised nations to help them adapt to the deadly impacts of climate change. For young people, their future is at stake.
Members of civil society from around the world who are at COP15 are doing their best to push for a just and ambitious climate deal from governments. Will the world leaders listen? We will find out by the end of next week.
Gan Pei Ling’s trip to Copenhagen was made possible by sponsorships from Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman, the Selangor government, and the US Embassy in Kuala Lumpur. The opinions, findings and conclusions stated herein are her own and do not necessarily reflect those of the sponsors.
For other related stories, see In the Spotlight: Climate Change
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