A working weekend in Bonn


June 6th, 2010

One week down, one to go, at the climate change negotiations.

Yesterday I spent much of the day away from the conference, at a workshop on issues of climate justice organised by one of our partners on climate change policy, Germanwatch. There was also a panel discussion on opportunities for some developing countries presented by low-carbon pathways to development.

I think Practical Action has some valuable case studies to offer from our work on renewable energies, even though our primary focus is, and will continue to be, on enabling energy access for the 1.6bn without modern energy.

At the conference there was a film festival, and my colleague Ranga from Sri Lanka introduced a film about farmers choosing to grow traditional rice varieities to help them adapt to increasing drought.

Last night was the regular mid-session NGO party in the Maritim Hotel. Seems strange to choose to go to this drab yet pretentious hotel on a Saturday night, when we have to be there every weekday, but the party is good fun, and dancing is a great way of releasing the stresses of the week.

On this occasion, Climate Action Network (CAN) took the opportunity to make a farewell presentation to Yvo de Boer, Executive Secretary of the Climate change Convention, who will leave his post at the end of June. We sang, a new version of the Julie Andrews song, Yvo’s Favourite Things which you can listen to here: http://www.youtube.com/oneworldtv#p/u/1/nGQ4y-UQAto.
Yvo’s speech in response to the song and the gifts he was given is here: http://www.youtube.com/oneworldtv#p/u/2/PIvI_YkjRsU.

Today I spent a long afternoon in the strategy meeting of Climate Action Network, but we were kept on our toes in the sultry heat with a series of challenging discussions on our strategy towards Cancun and how we hope to rebuild from the Copenhagen failure. We also discussed how to catalyse much needed action on developing plans for a zero carbon future (for developed countries) and a low carbon future for developing countries, particularly those growing rapidly.

I can’t say I am looking forward to another week here – but there is plenty that needs thinking about and acting on, and I feel some hope that progress will be made.

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