Tuesday 7 November and I decided to participate in another People’s Climate Summit workshop: Interfaith Dialogue on Climate Justice & Faith. The main focus for this session was divestment – ie. encouraging the faith communities to remove their investments from the fossil fuel industries and to invest it into sustainable, carbon-free forms of productivity.
On Monday 6 November Roger and I attended workshops put on by the People’s Climate Summit in Bonn. Whilst Roger was learning more about citizen’s action for urban decarbonisation, I headed for the session on Geo-engineering, technofixes and radical emission reduction pathways to stay under 1.5°C.
I think I have become a Climate Vision Pilgrim.
In 2010, I cycled from Paris to Santiago de Compostela, following in the footsteps (and, more recently, tyre tracks) of numerous pilgrims over the years. I repeated the ride in 2016 when I cycled from Vezelay to Santiago on one of the other pilgrim routes.
For Euan and I much of the last couple of days have been spent sitting in a railway station with a ticket for our destination.
It started in Bonn on Wednesday morning where the train we were booked on was cancelled due to construction work and the next service was running some 30mins late and not going as far as Koblenz where we were supposed to change.
After the rain on Sunday the weather has got distinctly colder. After breakfast I walked over the Rhine (’tis a mighty big river here) to a workshop on Artivism and Narrative at the Circus Tent space on the banks of the river.
Time for some head work after all the leg work last week. Ewan headed off to the official COP23 NGO venue where he could flash his shiny badge and mingle with the nearly great and good, whilst Euan and I made our way to The People’s Climate Summit workshops in various venues.
Ewan will report on here and/or facebook in due course or come and give you his impressions in person if you ask us. Meanwhile here’s my day before I forget it.
The COP21 ‘Paris Agreement’ was hailed as “The world’s greatest diplomatic success,” involving all 196 nations.
That success, in December 2015, was built up from ‘bottom up’ pledges (Intended Nationally Determined Contributions) – in diametric contrast to the perceived failure of the COP15 Copenhagen summit in 2009, when the bold ambition of a legally binding global agreement to govern greenhouse gas emissions for decades had descended into political grandstanding, and the relative deflation of a “political declaration” enshrining emissions targets up to only 2020.
Last night after the demo broke up we made our way to the Global Greens drinks and networking event in a pleasantly crowded small bar with some good beers on offer and a vegan buffet. Since it was the first food since breakfast we were very grateful for it whatever it was.
Saturday morning, time for the final push. It is only 25km into Bonn and the map shows a maze of cycle routes and they are well signed.
On the balcony of our attic apartment there is a view of the Eifel hills that we avoided in the far distance, but in the closer distance three Autobahns with cars speeding nose to tail.
We have been in touch with various other cycling groups and there is a mass ride today from Cologne to Bonn. The plan had been to go on the autobahn but this has been stopped and police are having to guard all the entrances. We aim to intercept the ride half way down and join them for the run in to Paris.
The digs in Spa had one room with three single beds squeezed in which didn’t make for the best night’s sleep for me. I do find it difficult to sleep when someone is continually try to start a chainsaw in the same room ?