Coming up with a resolution, practising diplomacy and being in endless discussions must be very tiring. But, please hear my concerns and consider the power and opportunity you were given.
You are the ones who are listened to when speaking; the ones to discuss and argue, the ones to sign the contracts. You are like Atlas, holding up the sky above ground so it doesn’t come crashing down on us all. So, please don’t let it fall. Keep holding it up and give us all a chance.
Problems to tackle seem omnipresent and that exactly they are: Continuous oil spills in Nigeria, slowly drowning Pacific Island Nations, hundreds dying in Chennai, first nations in Canada being denied access to their ancestral land because it now “belongs” to an oil company. The list doesn’t end.
Don’t take away our hope. Don’t take away our home; do not play with the survival of our home. And however desperate global crises seem to be, do not give up and keep thinking of the people who do not have the chance to be heard and listened to as easily as you. You are the ones holding the responsibility to hear them and then talk for them. To talk and act for us.
If you are negotiating for a developed country, do your duty and fund global energy transitioning through providing financial aid to developing countries. Be ambitious with your INDCs and work for a resolution that guarantees 1.5°C. Think how many chances there lie in this transition: How real beneficial development and uniting people for our all earth’s good could tackle nearly everything.
“We do not inherit the Earth from our Ancestors,
we borrow it from our Children” – ancient Indian proverb
Think of your children and their grandchildren. Do you want to leave them to take care of this mess? Let them be born into a world that isn’t able to support life anymore because you allowed it to be sucked empty? The most important people in climate negotiations and action aren’t in the same room with you and the decision-makers. They stand outside: Displaced, hungry, scared for their home, future and livelihood on earth. Civil society, the youth, indigenous people, everyone on planet earth. We want change. Not a pretence agreement that benefits big corporations by infringement of human and nature’s rights. A real change that comes from all of us. We are ready for it. But are you?
Please think of the millions of faces you are talking for, regardless of the party or government you are representing.
You are talking for humanity.
Text by Johanna Stoye