By Lydia Mogano and Tahirih Matthee
Like a big sale season, delegates from across the globe were flocking to the Climate Generation Area (known as the green zone) on the 1st December 2015. This venue is situated about less than 200m away from the main COP 21 conference, called Le Bourget, and it was created especially for NGO’s and the public to participate in the main COP event.
The long wait ended today when doors opened early this morning, a full day after the COP 21 official opening. Finally, we could raise our voices, exchange ideas, experiences and messages of hope, peace and justice through various dialogues and related activities.
I so wish everyone was as enthusiastic about climate change everywhere, 24/7 and 365 days per year! The Climate Generation area as an enabling space is extremely essential if we want real progress and progress that could be defined by diversity, mutual understanding, transparency, equity and justice. For example, I could see numerous people from various nations in their traditional attires expressing diverse messages, concerns and demands they have carried from home.
Although I didn’t have my traditional attire today, we still carry one of our key messages from South Africa (and Africa as a whole), our home, which states that we cannot afford to continue with business as usual but we need to reduce our carbon emissions in line with the temperature decrease below 1.5 °Celsius, urgently! Anything above this would create catastrophic events and that is unsustainable and even suicidal according to Pope St Francis.
That is what SAFCEI is enthusiastic about and we look forward to seeing this reflect in the new and hopefully binding Paris agreement for this generation and beyond!