COP21 – The Last Day

It is finally Saturday! Yet another day of COP21 has gone but even as things are coming to a close, a lot of matters are not coming to a conclusion. There are still so much to do and the hype is being overplayed.

The whole of yesterday was spent hashing out the new COP Text that was released on the previous day, on the 10th of December. This text had a lot of missing key issues such as intergenerational equity (a key point pushed by YOUNGO) and indigenous people’s rights (even though the topic on human rights was included). Discussions touching upon the importance of these missing key issues went on late until night.

Today, the moment of truth has finally arrived (or so we thought). However, delays are ever imminent. The initial proposed time for the release of the text was supposed to be at 8 AM but when the clock struck 9 AM, there was still no news. Time was going by fast and slow simultaneously – one moment we looked at the clock it was 10 AM, and then it was 11.30 AM, and now even as it passed 1.30 PM, the text is yet to be released. At exactly 1.33 PM, they announced that the text was released online. Everyone hurriedly checked online, but the text wasn’t to be found. A delegate from South Africa, Neoka Naidu, frustrated with the pain of the waiting game, was heard saying, “Why do they send us mixed signals? This is worst than a relationship!”

People waiting for the release of the finalised Agreement (the COP Text)

People waiting for the release of the finalised Agreement (the COP Text)

And a mere 2 minutes after that false alarm, at exactly 1.35 PM, the website crashed!

While waiting for the release, the website crashed, frustrating the crowd.

While waiting for the release, the website crashed, frustrating the crowd.

At 1.36 PM the text was finally released online but the hard copy was still unavailable to the public. The line to acquire the hard copy of the text was unbelievably long.

This morning at the Comité de Paris, Mr. Laurent Fabius, the Foreign Minister of the French Republic and the President of COP, mentioned that a deal was already made, and that it was a good one. He made it seem as if everyone was happy about this fact but the reality was far from it as parties have not even seen the text that was deemed agreed by everyone present. Fabius couldn’t be making the decision on his own as this is something that needs to be decided by all parties involved. In my opinion, he is anything but a President of COP.

I found that the speech link which was released and uploaded at the “WEBCAST” section was a bit out of place too. Let’s hope it was just a technical glitch, nothing more.

At 3.30 PM, the parties are to reconvene after going through the document rigorously and if more time is needed they will push for more time.

After having reconvened, the parties will have one more round of negotiation before the Closing Ceremony tonight. Personally, I didn’t think it will end today especially after listening to analyses about the text and reading through it. It may appear like the outcome will be a positive one, but there are still parts that are not wanted seen in the core agreement such as certain commitments for pre-2020.

“We’re cautiously optimistic because the ultimate proof lies in the text. The complete text has not be seen by the parties. We’ve been shown key areas and the key areas seem to contain what we need and we need to see it as a whole before we can applause it. We can’t adopt it till we’ve seen it.”

Dr Gary of the Malaysian Negotiator

The energy was intense – it was insanely busy and chaotic with so many people looking enraged, happy, and sad. It’s a flurry of emotions. Looking around and looking back, I can completely understand why they feel this way. These past 2 weeks have been a roller coaster of emotions. This morning’s speech at the Comité de Paris brought up so much hype for the COP Text which has now gotten everyone on edge. There are still so much that needs to be done.

This is it for now from us on the ground, we will see how it goes as the day progresses. Hopefully the situation will turn out for the better. With strong conviction, we’ll receive a more positive and holistically effective outcome for the COP Text (Adoption of the Paris Agreement).

Written by: Amalen

Edited by: Aisyah Mohamed

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