COLD Germany is alive with Climate talks
By ILIESA TORA (Compliments of DW AcademyUNFCC)
BONN, Germany – November 10: 5.57am (Nuku’alofa Times): The reality of climate change has hit home for many of us from our side of the world attending the COP23 here in Bonn, Germany.
Thankful to the United Nations Climate Change organisation and German media giant and training institution Deutsche Welle and their academy, our 10-member team of South Pacific journalists have found the cold Bonn winter challenging in more ways than one.
Surprisingly Germans even have also stated that the winter has somewhat bitten into them too, eventhough they are locals who should have grown accustomed to this weather.
As we walked around Bonn and experienced the hailstorm and the changing weather conditions, we were even told that Germany has felt the effect of climate change because snow is now something of amiss at this time of the year.
I remembered in olden day movies winter in Europe means snow everywhere.
Alas that is also changing.
So climate change is now universal and as I heard yesterday, knows no barrier.
It will also get worse if we do not change our system – our lifestyle and how we deal with our environments.
COP23 President and Fijian Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama has set the stage for interesting discussions here when he accepted the Presidency on Monday.
With the Talanoa Session concept used widely in the Pacific, he is hopeful that his fellow leaders would take decisive actions when the real nut of discussions gets underway over the next few days.
The Pacific have come with one voice and the island countries will be keen to find out just how politically-willed are the big countries in following through with the Paris Agreement.
Former Kiribati President Anote Tong made no bones in stating here two days ago what he believes.
“Politicians are the worst leaders. They only think about the next election and do not think about the next generation,” he said while speaking at a side event for Pacific Youths here at the Bonn Zone.
And he went a step further to state that 1.5 degrees will not be enough to save island countries that are already sinking like his own Kiribati, Tuvalu, Marshalls, Nauru and Tokelau.
He called for leaders to agree on minus 3 degrees as the way forward, challenging the big guns to stop emission of all sorts that had contributed to pollution.
Non Government Organisations from around the globe have been singing the same tune here — no to coal, get down to 1.5 and start action now.
The next few days will be interesting indeed.
For me and my other 9 media mates from the Pacific it has been an eye-opener being here, covering this meeting.
At the same time the opportunity to learn from the training sessions at the DW Academy is an opportunity of the lifetime.
My personal hope is that when all is wrapped up and done we can fly back to our Pacific region with the victory flag waving up high because we would have been able to achieve what we all want to see done — ACTION NOW, enough talking!!
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