#AWiA2Paris blog 8: Urgency is an understatement

Australian Strategic Policy Institute

Image credit: Australian Strategic Policy Institute


As the COP21 event draws to a close, the tension in the negotiations is necessarily also rising. It would be fair to say that all those represented here want to return to their own countries with some evidence of success.

However, there are some sticking points still and I am including a short article for the New York Times which puts these together well.

A New Draft of the Climate Change Agreement, and What Remains

So, on reflection, what messages from those who came to Paris but are not part of the direct negotiations, is your correspondent is left with? Here are some:

  • That those who came here, some at considerable personal cost and expense to themselves, are serious about the need to speak truth to power, and to get their messages across;
  • That being an Indigenous person in the remote, developing world is to be very vulnerable indeed to the impacts of climate change, and to be experiencing them now, at the front line;
  • That there is a sense of urgency being expressed, that we really can’t waste any more time;
  • That as a member of the developed world, Australia has a responsibility to lead by example; and that
  • Many communities are not waiting for their central governments, but are getting on with things. They are making decisions about their energy use, their water and waste. They are partnering up with others and taking control rather than waiting.

These will be the experiences and lessons learned that we will all take away from the event. That we are better in working together when we face huge challenges, that many of the solutions are already at our fingertips and that it is a matter of urgency for us all.

As Paris becomes another milestone in this important global journey, let’s listen to Mary Robinson who asks us to take a new sense of energy and commitment into 2016. She is a firm believer that action at a local level can make a difference. Let’s ask ourselves what can we do? What changes will we make as individuals, as families and as communities.

AWiA will continue to be a safe place to have further dialogue. I look forward to being a part of it with you all.

Thank you for following and being part of this historic experience.