Meeting Inspiring People in COP21 – Pt. 2

Pavlos_photo

Hi! I am Pavlos Georgiadis from Greece. I am an ethnobotanist, activist and start-up entrepreneur. I worked as a researched in 11 countries in Europe, Asia and America before returning to Greece in 2012, where I focus on agrifood innovation, participatory rural development and environmental politics.

What do you do for a living? 

I have created Calypso, one of Greece’s first family farming startups, after the financial crisis hit home at 2011. This is an attempt to revitalise an ancient olive grove on the north-eastern coast of Greece, through a combination of local food traditions and agroecology. I have also co-founded We Deliver Taste, a food innovation company which tries to connect good food producers with responsible consumers.

What is your role in Paris COP21? What are you looking forward in this conference?

I was at COP21 as member of the international Climate Tracker team. We have been following the climate negotiations very closely over the last few months, and we were in Paris for the final round. Our aim was to put our negotiators in the national spotlight and climate change on the front pages of the world’s media. Our team has published more than 400 articles during the two weeks of the COP, adding a small contribution to these negotiations.

What are the major climate changes induced disasters that may affect your country?

Greece has more than 6000 islands, and more than 200 of them are inhabited. All these communities are potentially on the front line of climate disasters. Being a member of the European Union, Greece belongs to the worlds’ most developed nations. However, the debt crisis has led to a 25% reduction of the country’s GDP in the last five years, leaving half of its youth unemployed. With the economy in such a grim situation, and the social welfare system totally dismantled, what worries me most is how Greece is going to catch up with its commitments towards climate action.

What are you or your organisation / government doing in your country on climate change?

Against a background of government inaction against climate change, the civil society is on the move in Greece. There is virtually no media coverage of the issue in the country. There is no public understanding of the problem and our biggest task in 2016 is to change that. Unfortunately, not many people from Greece participated in COP21, however,

the few of us that were in Paris are already discussing ways of bringing climate change to the public dialogue.

This occurs in a social setting where people are worried about plundering incomes and unemployment. The challenge is to turn this around, and offer plausible alternatives for a new economy that is climate resilient, socially inclusive and empowering to citizens. This is a process that involves multi-stakeholder consultations, campaigning and advocacy. What makes our work in Greece interesting is that, in lack of funds and political sense, we the citizens will have to do on our own.

Any tips you learn at COP that you would like to share with us? 

Amidst so much war and conflict around the world, with the youth challenged by decisions taken from the previous generation, we must bear in mind that the world has agreed to solve this problem. And it is us, the youth, that need to claim our role and responsibility in this effort.

The COP should remind us that here we have a unique opportunity to steward our planet. Do we want to be part of this process and now?

Do you have any upcoming events happening that you would like to share with us?

There are three major events in 2016, that should definitely draw the attention of active citizens around the world:

  • Habitat III – the UN Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development  – Quito, Ecuador; 17-20 October, 2016.
  • Convention on Biological Diversity COP13 – Cancun, Mexico; 4-17 December 2016
  • World Humanitarian Summit  – Istanbul, Turkey; 23-24 May, 2016

Have you attend any parallel / side events at Paris other than COP21? If yes, can you highlight the event(s)? 

My stay in Paris started with a prayer ceremony by indigenous communities at a park opposite Bataclan, on the site where victims of the Paris attacks lost their lives a few days before the COP21 begins. Being a Climate Tracker, after the COP started I had to spend most of my time at Le Bourget, where the negotiations were taking place. I have followed the discussions on climate solutions related to regenerative agriculture and agroforesty. I also listened to a very interesting lecture by Prof. Jeffrey Sachs on Deep Decarbonisation.


nesha

Hello, I am Nesha Ichida from Indonesia. I’m an online bachelor student studying Natural Science at the Open University UK. With this I’m also doing volunteer jobs and internships to gain more field work experience before I graduate. My passion is mainly on wildlife research and conservation but focusing more on the marine site. Although 2 years ago, I’ve put an interest in sustainable living as well after seeing the effects of climate change in my country and in the Arctic.

Tell us your purpose at COP21 and what you are looking forward at COP21?

As one of the Indonesian youth delegates, to speak at the youth session at the Indonesian pavillion, build international network, and to interview several scientist and climate activist for the “Youth4Planet Program”.

I would like to know what are the major climate changes induced disasters that may affect your country?

Forest fires, coral bleaching, drought, floods, El Nino, animal extinctions, food shortages, health and economy risk.

What are you or your organisation / government doing in your country on climate change?

Personally, I am still doing my best to raise awareness on the importance of sustainable living and reducing our carbon footprint through social media as I think every bit of change from each of us counts.

Any tips you learn at COP that you would like to share with us?

It is important to keep our goal in mind and not let green washing companies influence us. We need to build international connection to combat this problem and we youths are the ones who need to get involve the most as our future are what is at stake.

Have you attend any parallel / side events at Paris other than COP21? If yes, can you highlight the event(s)?

  • Earth To Paris (Petit Palais), meeting my two conservation heroines, Dr. Jane Goodall and Dr. Sylvia Earle. And also watching all the other celebrities talk about the importance for action in climate change
  • Exxon vs People Mock trial court (somewhere in Paris), listening to all the witness from around the world whom have been affected by climate change and how the fossil fuel industry have destroyed their home was devastating but very eye opening as well.

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Dian Anggraini was selected as a member of the mentor for Indonesian Youth Delegation for COP 16 UNFCCC in Cancun Mexico, COP17 UNFCCC in Durban, South Africa, COP 18 UNFCCC in Qatar and Indonesia Delegation for COP 21 UNFCCC in Paris.

In January 2011, Ms. Dian was trained by the Honorable Al-Gore and joined The Climate Reality Project Indonesia, a non-profit organization that serves as the Indonesian component of a grassroots movement of more than 7,800 diverse and dedicated volunteers worldwide. In the last four years she has been active as a Climate Leader, speaking and presenting about the climate crisis and its solution to the general public skills.

In the same year, Dian also participated in The Asia Pacific Leadership Congress in Melbourne, Australia.  Organized by the Australian Conservation Foundation, the congress focused on leadership, communication and engagement skills to influence and mobilize communities for a healthy environment.

In 2013, Dian participated in Climate Change Educator Skill Share and internship in The Climate Reality Project Australia for 8 weeks.

“Since the training, I appeared in international forums as well as local forums to present climate issues to various fields. I obtained climate knowledge from the training, as well as other media and events that I have participated in. As a climate leader, I like to communicate and connect with my audience especially towards the youth. I like to share some of my sustainable habits I picked up along my journey to my community especially at work and school.”

Tell me Dian, what are you looking forward at COP21?

My aims at Paris COP21 are to support our Indonesia negotiators and to help running activities in Indonesia Pavilion. I believe all our activities in Indonesia Pavilion are worth spreading and I believe our Indonesia negotiators succeeded in giving good inputs for the Paris Agreement. I hope all countries are genuinely concern and ready to cooperate to reduce the impacts of climate change for a better life.

What are the major climate changes induced disasters that are affecting your country?

Haze and Dryness resulting from summer long and forest fires.

What are you or your organisation / government doing in your country on climate change?

We are working together with the government and other community to provide communications and education to the youth and to hold climate-related activities for students such as Indonesia Youth for Climate Change , FGD and seminars.

Any tips you learn at COP21 that you would like to share with us?

Always use the social media to communicate “climate change issues” and coordinate with the government, relevant organizations and communities to promote climate awareness activities.

Do you have any upcoming events happening on Post-COP that you would like to share with us?

Yes we have upcoming Post-COP21 events but we are still organizing them.


barretteHello, I am Naomi Ages from United States. I am the Climate Liability Project Lead at Greenpeace USA.  I work on establishing legal, political, financial, and social liability for climate change.  I also work on our climate justice campaign.  I am a lawyer by training and have previously worked on human rights and asylum issues. I focused on environmental law and international law in law school and planned to make it my career. At the COP21, I worked mainly on loss and damage and as a US policy advisory for the Greenpeace delegation. I also helped interpret and advise on general issues of international law and US law.

What are the major climate changes induced disasters that may affect your country?

In the US, major climate-change induced disaster are hard to attribute, scientifically. There is some evidence that the drought in California, super-storm Sandy, and the warming in Alaska are all being worsened by climate change.  In addition, low-lying cities like New York and New Orleans are threatened by rising sea levels and future storms.

What are you or your organisation / government doing in your country on climate change?

  1. The Obama administration has made climate change a “signature issue” and has instituted the Clean Power Plan to reduce emissions.
  2. Additionally, a number of sub-national actors (cities and states) have invested in renewable and pledged to reduce emissions faster than the US government has mandated)
  3. Greenpeace runs a climate and energy campaign that focuses on “keep it in the ground”, ending coal leasing and production, “green my internet”, and political lobbying where possible.

Any tips you learn at COP21 that you would like to share with us?

This was my first COP so it’s hard to say I have tips but I think not getting caught up in rumors is important. Also that trust between organizations and between delegates and observers is the key.

Have you attend any parallel / side events at Paris other than COP21? If yes, can you highlight the event(s)?

  • WECAN – “Women on the front lines of climate change” which was held at the Marriott Ambassador Hotel in Paris
  • “What Exxon Knew and what Exxon did anyway” hosted by Matt Pawa and CIEL and was held at Light Loft and Skies in Paris.

Written by Jolene

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