Monday, December 6, 2010

Observations From the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change Conference of the Parties (from Cancun, Mexico)

This COP-16 conference is a massive international undertaking. It involves thousands of people from all over the world. The daily program guidebook is over 30 pages long. It's my privilege and honour to attend this conference as an official observer.

As an observer, I am only exposed to a small part of what is going on. Many meetings are closed, and accessible only to participants, who are called “Parties”. Observers are referred to as “Non-Governmental”. Media personnel have a different status.

Most of the UN meetings occur at the Moon Palace in the lobby building, with meetings occurring in many of the guest rooms and in a large building about 100 metres away. In addition to the numerous meetings of the UN there are many side events at a separate set of buildings located about 5 kilometres away; these buildings are like two large warehouses. There are also a number of outside events at other hotels.

I have enjoyed conversations with members of all three groups (Parties; Non-Governmental; Media), and with people from all over the world. Some of the people I've met are from small countries that I have never heard of, which include small island nations such as the Seychelles. People from this small nation are afraid that their economy and livelihoods will be totally destroyed by climate change. Other small island nations are considering giving up trying to mitigate climate change, and abandoning their homeland to resettle elsewhere. The many people from other counties that I have had extensive conversations with, express pleasure that many Canadians do not share the same view as our Government. Many are pleased that the Green Party is an active force in Canada.

There has been little time to sit a computer and share my thoughts with you, between attending meetings, busing between venues, and walking between buildings, as well as eating and sleeping (which I've not had very much to do either). I started writing this blog on a public computer. I just left a meeting which would have driven you crazy. I have never seen such paralysis. I have much more to share with my friends and family back in Sudbury, and throughout Canada, and I will endeavour to provide you with updates as soon as I can.

Fred TwilleyNominated Green Party of Canada Candidate,Sudbury Riding

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