Category Archives: Okategoriserade

People are People

Coming fresh as a newbie to the meeting in Bonn, you get quite overwhelmed. People in suits everywhere and full day schedules. However, you get into it and I’ve learned a few things.

  1. People are people:

All of these women and men in suits, taking important decisions, are people. Nothing more than humans. If you’d talk to the delegates of Zimbabwe, a representer from Greenpeace or the swedish nature protection agency, you’ll realize they have normal feelings, humour and intellect. Talk to them, they may be important, but not dangerous. Listening to the fascilitator of a meeting on legal aspects regarding the adaption fund, they will actually make you laugh sometimes (delegate of Japan is quite fun) and if you visit the toilet after the french delegation, their farts also smell!

  1. Follow someone who knows their stuff/take notes:

Coming to a meeting, it’s hard to follow all of it. My best tip here is to sit next to someone who takes notes, sneek down to their screen once in a while to try to recap the most important stuff. Or take the notes yourself, you’ll learn by picking out the important things. People tend to talk in riddles. After the meeting, discuss with your friends on what actually happened.

  1. Bring a computer:

Some meetings are super interesting, some are not. Some rooms have good air, some don’t (watch out for the Berlin room). You don’t want to be the guy sleeping through a meeting and you don’t want to be the one leaving halfway through. Bring a computer, read through the paris agreement, follow the schedule, do some work, write a blog. If you need to message your friends, don’t use facebook, use messenger, looks way better. Also, bring the ice coffe with a cookie, only 0.79 at Netto. You’ll have 12 hours a day at the conference, it’s ok to have a break and do something else.

  1. Come with a mission:

Coming here, my idea was just to learn about what is going on in here, how do the meetings look like, what do they say, how do people work and what is the vibe? This is an alright mission, but I would recommend doing something bigger. Focus on one subject and do something about it. What do you really want to get out of this? Do you want to spread the message out? Do you want to learn about gender and CC or do you want to encourage your nation to bring more youth representatives? (Read Nick Fitzpatricks blogpost at pushtocop.org). Have a mission and you’ll feel more important.

  1. Rules, meant to be broken?:

Rules are broken, all the time. The maximum speech time for the nations during the opening meeting was set to 3 min. Expect Ecuador to speak for 10, Honduras for 6 and Uganda for 5, nobody keeps the time. None of the meetings finish in time. Also, swapping badges is fun, me and Patrik did, security never noticed, security update needed from UNFCCC!

  1. Bring a suit:

Just do it. So cool. Or an african or indian multicoulored dress, also very cool! At the end of the week you can also see how people start to chill more, shoes come of, relaxed shirts come forth, still, bring a suit, worth it! If you have business cards, this is a great opportunity to use them as well. Look important, you feel important and people will think you are important!

  1. Talk:
    Again, talk, go to the YOUNGO meetings and Bonn Track meetings, meet people, learn.
  2. You can change:

Yes you can, try, and you can.

Not too many points on what countries actually talk about, but there is progress made, slow progress, but still progress.

/Björn

A good start is always the key

11th May, 2017

A good start is always the key to have a great day and face the conference full of energy. That is what we thought today and we actually decided to implement that thought. We started the day getting off the train two stops before arriving to the Conference Centre and decided to walk through a green, relaxing and beautiful park next to the UN Headquarters in Bonn. We had a nice walk through the Japanese garden and the rest of the park just before getting with renewed energy to the Conference Centre, taking advantage of the good spring weather, prepared for another intense day.

Once in the Conference Centre we rapidly got into the mood. As every day there were so many people walking around, from one meeting room to another, trying to cover as much as they were able to. As always, checking the schedule screens was the first thing we did, in order to figure out how to organize the day. We were very active during the whole day, attending various very interesting side events and meeting sessions.

However, two of them could be highlighted. Firstly, we attended a Side Event on Climate Change and Human Rights organized by the Office of the High Commissioner on Human Rights with great panellists. Among them, a short introduction was made by the Executive Secretary of the UNFCCC Patricia Espinosa. The broad range of different perspectives provided by the various panellists enriched the event, including even and very accurately a representative on behalf of the Indigenous Peoples, surely a group highly affected by the both topics treated in the event. The event was even attended by the ambassador of the host country of the next COP, Fiji. I was definitely a dynamic and really interesting event.

But it was the Gender Workshop during the afternoon which really served as a fulfilling experience. The working system was unexpectedly informal. We were divided in small working groups, each one on a specific subject matter and in a participatory and inclusive way. Everyone’s inputs were welcomed and the dialogue was really constructive. The most shocking thing was the fact that one of the women was taking care of her baby while participating in the discussion. The baby was just playing around the room with the rest of us, making the meeting mood more relaxed but not being disturbing or distracting at all though. It is good to see that also in the usually formal and fancy environment of the UN, there is also room for such an informal and relaxed working mood.

This was definitely a great day reaching already the end of the week. At least we learned the lesson, a good start might be the key for having a really great day.

Bonn Intersessionals: A Poetic Interpretation

What’s up dear blog readers! Today it’s me having the honor to write whatever I want on this nice little blog. Shortly introducing myself I’m an engineering student in the field of sustainable energy technology at Luleå University of Technology currently studying climate change leadership at CEMUS. To me the intersessionals at Bonn is a perfect opportunity to see how the technology I’ve so long learnt about is discussed to be actually implemented globally and simply how the world’s top level negotiators in the field of climate change is handling current crisis. Bonn onsdag

My expectations coming here, was of the UNFCCC to be next level stuff, the real deal, the cream on the moose to use perfect swenglish. And so far I have to say that it meets my expectations all the way! Panel discussion between four of the world’s largest cities discussing how they have taken action to mitigate their climate impact, drinking beer and talking soccer with the delegates of other countries, listening to formal discussions on whether the adaptation fund should be part of the Kyoto protocol or the Paris Agreement is everyday stuff here. But on the other hand, every presentations has Powerpoint struggles in the beginning, everyone goes for the free food, people are sleeping in the back row of the rooms and it’s really nice to see that people are still people.

I have to keep this short due to a highly important meeting coming up with the youth council at the local brewhouse. But lastly to anyone reading this interesting in going, interested in specific subjects or anything related: Talk to people! Everyone at the COPs and Intersessionals are interested in spreading their ideas and opinions and is overall really friendly people!

Short UN poem

The UNFCCC is rad and my feet are in pain

Australias climate policy is getting better but they’re still way worse than Spain

My badge is only yellow but I wish it was pink

Then I could say important stuff and sign deals in binding ink

Great decisions are made in this house surrounded by fence

But still I can’t help to wonder, where’s all the free pens?

 

Over and out
Patrik

Day 1 in Bonn: A no-frills description

If one of our delegates hadn’t already been to the inter-sessional meeting the year before, we probably wouldn’t have found the Conference centre at all. Walking from the underground station, we wound through residential suburbs and tree-lined streets before rounding the corner to a concrete area with a large glass building before finally finding the some-what hidden entrance to the Conference hall. Met by security guards, one felt a similar feeling to going through security at the airport (not that we flew here), before being shuttled into line for registration. After taking a rather unflattering photo in Trump shades of orange, that unfortunately will be kept and used again for coming years, we got our barcodes scanned and were let loose inside. Badge 2

The arrival to the Conference centre was less dramatic than anticipated. After collecting our translation headsets, we wandered up the stairs to the New York Hall balcony in order to watch the Opening Plenary of the SBSTA. We found our way to the right side of the balcony, which gave us an overview of the Secretariat and the Party Delegations below. From where we sat we could see the stream of people flowing in and out of the Hall. All in all, it was a very casual environment. After a few minutes, the meeting was opened and the SBSTA Agenda adopted. While this sounds quick, it was in fact not. Anyone who has ever been to an annual Board meeting will understand. That said, the new favourite phrase of at least two UU Delegates is now “I hear no objections. It is so decided”. This may even be adopted into our every-day vocabulary.

UNFCCC Opening 1After two hours of SBSTA Agenda adoption and hearing the opening statements from various parties and interest groups, the Delegation went down to the lunch area to meet with Matthew Stillwell, a negotiator with the G77 group. He gave us a general overview of the negotiations, the various problems and power structures, including the issue of money provision, or rather there lack thereof. It was the uncut, raw version of the UNFCCC, one that requires years of experience and reading through the lines. After taking up an hour of his time, we ran off to our first side event: CDM and NDC’s: The Way Forward. Although it was most certainly an interesting and informative meeting, the lack of air in the room and our inexperience with the seemingly endless amount of UNFCCC acronyms meant that the discussion was confusing and hard to follow. Not even the micro-bursts of sleep helped.

Finally, after one and a half hours of googling acronyms, we decided to go to our last event of the day. This turned out to be the opening Plenary of the Technical Expert Meeting, with focus on Land-Use and Urban Environment. Present at this meeting were, among others, the Mayor of Quolimane in Mozambique and Martin Frick, Director of Climate and Environment Division at FAO (Food and Agriculture at the United Nations). Although only the introduction, this turned out to be a very interesting meeting, and the most educational of the day. Not least as the floor was opened up for Civil Society and other organizations, which led to statements about Indigenous Peoples, the environmental implications of excessive meat and dairy consumption, and questions about connections between Climate Change and the war in Syria. This brought the meetings back down to Earth again, a necessity in our eyes as sometimes the political correctness and the excessive use of dry acronyms makes the negotiations feel intangible and far too far away from the reality in which they are intended to influence. Finally, after a few more statements, the meeting was closed early and we took the tram back to our Airbnb. That said, this was thus far the most informative meeting and we look forward to participating in the rest of the Technical Expert Meetings as they continue throughout the week.

All in all, it was a fairly good start to the week. At the very least, it was as expected.

Apply to join UU Student Delegation to Climate Negotiations in Bonn

Would you like to witness Climate Negotiations first-hand, meet others who are involved in the negotians, and learn more about how the decisions are made? If so, apply to be a part of the Uppsala University Student Delegation that will travel to Bonn this May! Click on the link below to find out more.

Deadline: 19th March, 2017.

Information for the application for joining the UU Student Delegation