#COP16: First Week Of Negotiations [Reporting Live From Mexico]

Posted on December 8, 2010 in Environment

By Andrea Arzaba:

Live from COP16, Cancum, Mexico: For the past few days, my perspective towards life has changed completely. And this is all related to an issue I had heard about so many times before, but one that I never completely understood until now: we are killing our planet and we do not stop doing it even after knowing.

Some weeks ago I got selected for a project called “Adopt a Negotiator”, which is an initiative where several young people from different parts of the world become “trackers.” Our role is to be interpreters and communicators of what our national delegations say and do at the UNFCCC conferences on Climate Change.

This is the first time I attend a COP (Climate Change Summit), and I must say that for me it is a whole new universe in different aspects. One of them is the language, so many acronyms and technical terms being used that it makes it difficult to be fully understood. At least, when I arrived it was like learning another language, but later on you start remembering some of the abbreviations, as you must use them all the time.

At the beginning of the COP, the environment between negotiators and NGOs was very positive, as there was a new opportunity and perspective to start with. But then, as the days passed, people started doubting:

Will we get a real treaty out of this Conference? Will China and the US change their standpoint on Kyoto Protocole? How are we going to give more vulnerable countries a fair opportunity to combat Climate Change?

Finally, after more than one week on tracking my delegation, many things I have discovered from Mexico, my hometown and the host for COP16, as there is a National Plan on combating Climate Change where by 2050, the country will reduce their carbon emissions by 50%.

I must admit that one of the highlights of this whole experience was being able to talk to Mexico’s President at the first plenary he gave. I was lucky enough to get his attention and selected to ask a question to him. I asked what did he think of young people taking action on climate change from all around the world? He answered that this initiatives were very interesting and that we, as young generations, are committed on this important issue.

Please do wait for my second post, as COP16 is not over yet. Still some days of negotiations, and with the prime ministers and high government participants from different parts of the world, this process might take any direction in the next few hours.

The author is reporting live from Cancum for Youth Ki Awaaz. You can follow her live from the COP16 on twitter: @andrea_arzaba, feel free to ask your questions in the comments section below.

Image courtesy: UN Climate Talks