The first day of COP21 focused primarily on speeches by the heads of states, setting the tone (an optimistic one) for further days at the conference. With everyone's attention on them, there were very few side events in the morning. We browsed through all the available Countries Pavilions and participated in some of their activities. Of course, a lot of important people were around, but security made it difficult to track them down. However, Thomas was lucky and got a picture with Al Gore!
One of the big highlights, of course, was watching President Obama's speech from the United States pavilion. You can check out the full text of his speech here, but we wanted to highlight some key ideas that we were inspired by!
Watching all the heads of state line up for the honorary photo (like elementary school kids lining up after recess), it's important to remember that they aren't the ones really negotiating here. While appearances by Obama and other leaders show a global commitment to change, it is other representatives and negotiators who now have to hash out the details towards our 2 C goal over the coming weeks.
As President Obama said, "Let's get to work".
30/11/2015 09:38:11 pm
Looking at the key ideas that Obama covered, I found it really thought-provoking when he said "we are the first generation to feel the impact of climate change, and the last generation that can do something about it". It is very true that we are currently living in the time frame where climate change and global warming is getting the most publicity because of all of the effects it is having on the world and the environment compared to how it has affected the world before. It is frightening to think that if we do not do something about it now, it will only get worse and the results will be devastating to the world. It puts a lot of pressure on the world and the leaders who are taking charge of this issue. However, that is why COP21 has the goal that it has, and hopefully they are able to achieve what they want throughout the conference.
1/12/2015 07:40:13 am
This world is our only world. Without it we die. This should be enough to protect and preserve our planet. But it's not. Maybe we're clouded by an array of emotion and greed. Consciousness gave us this life where surviving is not difficult. We can live a life that appeals and satisfies every need. For climate change to be seen as something "real" and need action against it, people have to see the effects first hand. They don't want there life to change or have to take a short term hit for long term gain. The average person doesn't typically think of what comes out of their tail pipe or how their food got to the plate. In my experience they only care that everything works, whether sustainable or not. We have a chance to know what needs to be done and what can be done, rather than say hindsight is 20/20. Maybe now people can see their greed and wealth can continue since economic growth rose and carbon emissions flattened.
1/12/2015 12:13:37 pm
President Obama's opening statements seem very positive, as they probably should be in the first days of this climate conference. However the things he is saying are also very thought provoking, especially the idea posed in the last bullet of the highlights given by this blog post. I agree with president Obama in that i also think that the more attention we give as a globe to the problem of climate change the more growth and development we'll see in that field. The world has some truly talented scientists and will be seeing talented thinkers grow from the worlds current youth, and the more emphasis we put on climate change now the more of these minds will put their attention to the problem. The more people thinking about solutions to climate change the quicker we can, hopefully, work to a solution.
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