REFLECTIONS FROM COP24 IN KATOWICE, POLAND (PART 111): DEGRADATION OF THE EARTH AT COP 24: AN OVERVIEW OF CIVIL SOCIETY ACTION

01By Colleen Cloonan Swain: Women’s Leadership Development and Advocacy Associate Mercy International Association: Mercy Global Action at the UN: COP 24 was filled with a myriad of ministerial dialogues, press conferences, technology showcases, events, and more. One group of attendees that moved me in particular was civil society. Many civil society groups shared their concerns in striking ways, urging delegates to increase ambition and take action.

One creative way was through skits. To the left you will see a skit from an Asian nation who was recently affected by a typhoon. Holding a sign that says “2030” the participants fell to the ground, demonstrating the loss and destruction that will be caused if we do not act soon to mitigate temperature and sea level rise. Typhoons were also a concern that was voiced from Sisters in the Philippines, Samoa, New Zealand, Guam, Mariana Islands and Micronesia at the Mercy Asia Pacific Gathering. We must continue to build resilience to climate change and disasters through international cooperation. We also must urge States to strengthen their disaster risk management and national action plans and incorporate local knowledge. For positive examples of climate action in the Pacific see groups like SPREP and The Nature Conservancy.

Another powerful skit can be seen to the right. This image shows a group that stood in 11silence to remember environmental and human rights defenders who have lost their lives. The protection of environmental and human rights defenders must be ensured. We must advocate for the incorporation and signing of the Escazu Agreement at COP 25 in Chile.

While you continue through the newsletter, you will read more about events, themes, find key resources distributed, and topics that were discussed throughout COP 24.

For daily, detailed accounts of the conference and its outcomes please see: Carbon Brief’s analysis of COP 24 at https://www.carbonbrief.org/cop24-key-outcomes-agreed-at-the-un-climate-talks-in-katowice  and the Climate Action Network International Newsletters which were produced daily during the COP 24 which can be found at http://www.climatenetwork.org/eco-newsletters  . If reading other sources regarding outcomes from COP 24 be wary of “red flags”.

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