Sharing my Like’s and “Meh” in COP21

I was at COP21 for both weeks. There are things that i like and dislike.

What I Like

Al Gore speech

I attended 2 events which the presentation was delivered by Al Gore. His events were always full house. One of his events “Impacts and Solutions to the Climate Crisis” was held at La Loire, which is the biggest plenary that can fit at least 1,200 audiences. Yet, the whole plenary was full and some of audience even need to sit on the floor. He is such an influential guy. His speech was like a magnet. It attracts everyone’s attention. While delivering his presentation, he also show us some video clips that show the devastating effect of climate change. One of the video clip really struck my heart and i almost cried. The video clip show an African guy was being interviewed about his likelihood when the drought is still persist. Halfway through the interview, that guy just break into tears. Together with the background music, it make the atmosphere so sentimental. Besides, I saw people taking out tissue as well. *if you know what I mean*

Relaxation room

“Are you kidding me?” was my first thought when i heard these 2 words. I believe you have the same feeling as me right now. The relaxation room indeed is a nice amenity. The room equipped with comfy sofa bed. The room is also very popular for people who want to take a short nap due to its peaceful and quiet atmosphere, except the fact that sometimes you may heard people snoring.  

 

The relaxation room at COP21

The relaxation room at COP21. Everyone was taking a short nap after a tired day. Photo from ClimDev – Africa

Because of it popularity, the room was always packed and it is very hard to find a seat during daytime. There is only once that the room is empty as that day is Sunday (6th December) and there is no event happening in COP21. To be frank, the sofa bed felt more comfortable than the bed in my apartment. I stayed in the room for the whole afternoon to write my article, not forgetting taking a short nap.

Green Zone

Green Zone aka Climate Generation Space is a huge space for debates, knowledge-sharing, discussions and conviviality. I like Green Zone because the atmosphere here are much lively and colorful as compared to Blue Zone. I thought I was at a huge adult version of kindergarten when I first step into the zone. Moreover, I heard quite a few times that the fish n chip here are delicious. Too bad I missed the opportunity to taste it.

A medium sized #COP21 sculpture

A medium sized #COP21 sculpture

Near Indigenous People Pavilion

Drawing near Indigenous People Pavilion at Green Zone

Bilateral meeting

I attended 2 bilateral meeting organised by MYD. They are the UK Youth Climate Coalition (UKYCC)  and Australian Youth Climate Coalition (AYCC). After listening to both of the parties, I realised that I am not the only one who felt lost and frustrated during COP21. COP21 indeed is a huge circus with many events happen concurrently, which make us want to explore here and there and ended up getting lost. Well, getting lost is part of growing up isn’t it? By getting lost, one will know what is his main goal is about. I realised my area of interest is policy/negotiation tracking. I would like to learn more about policy and negotiation technique in the future.

Food is everywhere

In COP21, you hardly possible get hungry because you can find food anywhere. The only problem you need to worry is whether you have sufficient money or not. The food i like the most is the pastry because it is cheap and filling. Among all pastry, chocolate pain au lait is my favourite.

Choc pain au lait - my favourite pastry

Choc pain au lait – my favourite pastry

Charging station

There are 3 different charging methods in COP21. One is the charging lockers, second is a charging “tree” station and the third is the bicycle charging station. I have tried all. I discovered the charging lockers on my first day at COP21. As the name described, one can charge his electronic devices in the designated box and locked it. The key will be kept by the owner until he take back his devices. Having said that, the lockers were always occupied started from the end of 1st week, even early in the morning. *suspicious*  

The charging “tree” station is using plug n charge method and there are plenty of plugs available in a “tree”. Not many people were using this because the devices will be exposed to public and there is a risk of getting stolen.

Bicycle charging station is the coolest innovation among all. State of art is simple. You cycle, you get electricity. Thus, this will not be a good choice for lazy people.

Bicycle charging station

Bicycle charging station

What i “meh”

Closed events

Some of the negotiation process like ADP spin-off group meetings are still closed. In other words, people like me who is a yellow badge holder (observer) was not allowed to participate. I have felt a bit frustrated because I am unable to get first hand information or get to know what is going on during the negotiation process. In order to achieve maximum transparency and accountability, participation from civil society is a must.

Time consuming to walk from Blue Zone to Green Zone

Due to stringent security measures, we are required to walk for at least 15 mins to reach one of the zones albeit they are just next to each other. The most irritating part is we need to go through security check per entry. In other words, a return trip will require 2 security checks. All electronic devices need to be taken out and put in one box, winter coat or windbreaker need to be in one box and bags need to be in one box too. #hectic

Cold water

The water from all water dispensers in COP21 are cold. Hot water is not available publicly and i need to ask from the waiter in food stalls. Sometime, i was not allowed to do so unless i buy a drink from them. #cunning In my opinion, hot water dispensers should be provided as well so that i can brew MILO – my favourite drink since childhood.

Written by Thomas 

 

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