Another great day in Paris! I started the day by going to Montsauris Park in the south of the city with Christina, another Conergy Solar Ambassador. We were there to see one of many art installations that have been put up around the city of Paris in conjuction with the climate talks. This one was titled “Where the Tides Ebb and Flow”, and featured many blue heads positioned in a curve, sticking up out of a pond, to represent the impact of rising sea levels on the human race.
I then traveled back to the center of Paris and visited the Tara Expeditions vessel, which was docked on the river Seine and had an exhibition about their work in exploring and doing science on the oceans, and the importance of including oceans in the climate negotiations. It’s sad to see that the oceans are still not specifically identified in the Paris agreement, even though they are the lungs of the planet and climate change is having an enormous impact on marine ecosystems.
Next I went to Solutions COP21, a huge side event in the Grand Palais. It featured many new technologies and innovative ideas from the private sector to address energy challenges.
I stopped by Le Bourget in the afternoon and hung out in the Green Zone. It was International Human Rights Day yesterday, so I saw many peaceful protests, especially from indigenous groups. I checked out a beautiful mural that was painted on the wall in the expo area that people have been contributing to throughout the conference.
My last stop of the day was to the CentQuatre, a.k.a. the Climate Action Zone, a side event during COP21. I was there along with 1500+ people to see Naomi Klein speak. She gave a speech about how climate will never trump trade and until the current mix of trade agreements, capitalism, money, and power is seriously reorganized, COP will not be the ultimate solution. “Climate change landed on our laps at the exact moment when these trade deals started to proliferate around the world,” she explained.
But there’s reasons to be hopeful. The people must bring the change, and it will be a long fight, but ultimately it will go our way because this is what makes sense environmentally and economically. “We need to look at these barriers as a challenge, and we have to understand that we are going to win this,” Naomi said.
I’m currently writing a collaborative blog post for Conergy with one of my fellow student journalists, Christina Cilento, which should be up soon!