Preparation weekend for COP 19: 11th-13th October 2013

Last weekend saw the 8 participants of the UCOS -COP 19 team take time to familiarize themselves with the UN climate negotiations. This comes at a time when the world is preparing for the November talks with the hope that it will result in a promising road-map to a legally binding climate agreement in 2015.

On the first evening, Ulriikka Aarnio from Climate Action Network took the team through the historical engagements leading to the current status of negotiations. Later on the movie “Age of  Stupid” artistically shed light yet again on some of the causes and impacts of climate change.

During the weekend, the participants had the opportunity to share on specific topics they had worked on as per issues of climate change and the work of UNFCCC.The specific topics were: history of UNFCCC, adaptation, mitigation & emissions trading, Kyoto protocol, Loss and damage, inter-generational equity and climate financing. At the same time, the team met Katherine UCOS -COP 18 participant who offered valuable insight on how the COP works and hints from her teams’ experience. As a consequence, the team was able to engage in open discussions of issues that came up. Some of the pertinent issues were:

  • What are the possible solutions to climate change?
  • Does small initiatives such as community actions have impact on climate change  globally?
  •  Do observers including the youth have any impact on climate negotiations?
  •  How can political will be achieved for productive climate negotiations?

Well, the team did not come up with definite answers but considered possible solutions. Probably these will become clearer once the team has a firsthand experience in Warsaw! Nevertheless the weekend achieved its aim by:

  • Imparting appreciation of the complexities  particularly with regard to UNFCCC climate negotiations
  •  Enabling the team to appreciate  their role at individual and team level in sharing their ideas and experiences concerning climate change
  • Enhancing team bonding for effective collaboration in communicating outputs of the Climate negotiations
  • Shedding more light into the individual interests and how these are interlinked in achieving the team’s common goal
  • Addressing the logistical aspects of attending the climate negotiations
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