By Niclas Aleff
That’s it! Today is Sunday COP21, possibly one of the most important and game-changing conferences yet, ended yesterday. After two weeks of negotiations 196 parties finally reached on what will be referred to as the Paris agreement. This final Paris agreement is very promising and will hopefully positively influence the nations’ efforts on limiting global warming , as it aims to “[…] holding the increase in the global average temperature to well below 2 °C above pre-industrial levels and pursuing efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5 °C […]”. However, this agreement must only be a first step. Many critical issues are still formulated vaguely and almost no binding decisions were stipulated.
I am back at home, summarizing and reflecting the past eight days while daily routine is slowly catching up on me again. The past week in Paris has surely been one of the most intense, educational, and disturbing weeks of my life. In many cases I have for the first time fully understood and comprehended what I’ve only been aware of previously. Being at COP means to be intensively confronted with the same issues and discussions every day and all day. The daily amount of new impressions, experiences, and opinions one is exposed is enormous. I am still overwhelmed and will probably need days, if not weeks to evaluate the past week. During our time at Le Bourget COP was the only news on our minds, no refugees, no war in the middle east, and surely no weather report nor the winning lottery numbers. It’s irritating now, to see climate change being just one of many topics as just a few days ago to us it was the most important and only issue present.
Let’s hope that action will follow words, and the urgency of the issue will be fully understood, acknowledged and eventually will lead to an effective limitation of global warming.
I’m thankful for the opportunity to participate in and to observe this milestone conference. I hope that you enjoyed reading our blogs and that we were able to give you a brief impression of the atmosphere as well as the issues being discussed, by sharing our thoughts, opinions, and (new) knowledge.
It was a pleasure to be part of a strong IFSA youth involvement at the GLF, and a small but nice IFSA delegation at COP. I’m proud to be part of this organization as it offers young people a wide range of opportunities to broaden their horizons, and meet inspiring youth from all over world!
PS: Find the Paris agreement here.
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of the International Forestry Students’ Association.