3 flights, a surprise encounter with a fellow COPster, an eventful taxi ride, and two apartments later, I begin to settle into our GORGEOUS apartment in the Miraflores district in Lima, Peru.
After meeting a fellow undergraduate COPster on my flight from Miami to Lima, we decide to travel to the amazing Miraflores district together. Along the way we encounter a phenomenal taxi driver who gives us a tour of the city throughout our ride and helps me find and check-in to the apartment we've rented overlooking the Pacific Ocean. We drop off our luggage and set off to explore El Malecon, a six mile stretch of beautiful parks directly overlooking the Pacific Ocean in Miraflores (don't worry we didn't walk all 6 miles after extreme sleep-deprivation!).
Walking around El Malecon, witnessing the beautiful gardens and monuments surrounding us, I am reminded of the vast task that lies before us in the coming weeks. Negotiators, world leaders, NGOs, activists, students, press, professors and citizens from around the world will gather at the 20th Conference of the Parties (COP20) in an attempt to negotiate and agree upon a framework for a universal climate agreement to be adopted in Paris in 2015. Looking ahead to the hectic, challenging and inspiring week ahead I can't help but realize that places and moments such as these are exactly what we're fighting for in the battle to reduce carbon emissions, and create effective mitigation and adaptation strategies to address and reduce the effects of climate change.
Sitting on a park bench overlooking the Pacific Ocean on a beautiful, sunny, warm, spring day, I recognize the runners that pass by, the couples and friends who sit snuggling on the grass or animatedly chatting on a walk, holding hands, kickboxing, walking dogs, and throwing frisbees, are all members of the same struggle, whether we know it or not. We are able to experience moments such as these because we are fortunate enough to still have the opportunity to enjoy a place like El Malecon. A place that hangs in the balance of changing weather patterns, sea level rise and erosion of its beautiful cliffs overlooking the Pacific. The beauty of places like El Malecon depend on the actions we take today to ensure their preservation and protection. As we begin the next step in our journey preparing and attending the Climate Talks in Lima on Monday, December 1st, I am reminded that the fight against climate change is a constant battle, and am reinvigorated in my commitment to continue learning, collaborating, and educating.
PLEASE JOIN US throughout the next two weeks (and beyond) to engage in a discussion of what climate change means to you. Your voices and opinions are of the utmost importance, so please share comment and message us to start a dialogue on these issues!