Cop 21 after the attacks

Is it a coincidence that the terrorist outrage in Paris was committed weeks before COP21, the biggest climate conference since 2009? Perhaps, writes Oliver Tickell. But failure to reach a strong climate agreement now looks more probable. And that’s an outcome that would suit ISIS – which makes $500m a year from oil sales – together with other oil producers.

This is  from the Ecologist. And whatever we think about the likelihood of the COP21 talks reaching any kind of successful conclusion, what ISIS may think is a separate question.

I thought Hollande was playing into their hands by announcing ‘We are at war’, and by threatening to cancel the ‘side events’ at the conference for security reasons. Now the side events are to happen, but the march is still banned. We, Sustaining All Life, don’t have NGO status. Only one of our workshops, the one on Young People, was accepted to run within the COP21 ‘village’. I don’t know whether with the tightened security  our people will even be allowed in at other times.

But we are going. Our workshops will take place in a nearby hotel, and if necessary we will have to stand outside the ‘village’ gates to talk and listen to people and invite them to come to our workshops.

There are a lot of frightened people in Paris. This is a time for listening to restore intelligence. Racism has already been surging up, as it does especially in times of fear. There have been attacks in Paris on Muslims and on Jews. Can our delegation do anything to make a difference?  I’m hopeful. At the very least we can make a  difference to the people we meet, listen to, talk to, and who come to our workshops. Counting volunteers and interpreters as well as delegates, we are about sixty, so that is not negligible.

Watch this space.







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