Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Sunniva finds hope in Copenhagen

(Originally posted by Sunniva Taylor on the Quakernomics blog (www.quaker.org.uk/quakernomics).

My name is Sunniva. I used to work for Quaker Peace and Social Witness in London. I travelled to Copenhagen with the Christian Aid campaign team, to take part in the 'street' action and to prepare to write an article for the Friend.

Yesterday I arrived back from Copenhagen, where I was participating in the mass of civil society actions taking place in the city, as the negotiations for the next climate change deal continue. On Saturday I was one of 100,000 people from around the world, including the global south, marching on the Bella Centre - where the economists, scientists and politicians are gathered. We were calling on them to deliver climate justice, and asking them to ACT NOW to make a Fair, Ambitious and (legally) Binding (FAB) agreement. On Sunday, I attended an uplifting eccumenical service during which Archbishop Rowan Williams reiterated, again and again, that 'perfect love casts out fear'. He called on leaders not to be so paralysed by fear and selfishness that they cannot save the planet, and asked us to ask ourselves and one another how the commandment to love and to live in joy and respect for the earth is reflected in our lifestyles and policies.

The papers and many NGOs are talking about how Copenhagen is 'our last chance to save the world', and 'our only hope'. But I think that this is dangerous. What happens if they don't reach agreement (and it's unlikely that they will agree to a legally binding one, or one that gives enough money to developing countries, or that actually commits to great enough emissions cuts)? Then, are we all doomed? And if global leaders do reach an agreement, are we off the hook?

No! Because as contributors to this blog know 'saving the world' is about much more than agreeing carbon emissions reductions. They will only be achieved if we reassess and re-gig our whole way of being in the world - our economies, structures, and attitudes. And, at the end of the day, I think that whilst an agreement in Copenhagen is incredibly important, the agreement itself will not lead to these changes. They have to follow. And it will be global citizens - that's, me and you - not only economists, scientists and politicians, that will make these changes.
Being in Copenhagen was an extraordinary experience not because of what was happening in the negotiations - in actual fact we knew very little about that because we had no access to English language papers! But, because of what was happening outside of the centre. People had gone to incredible lengths to be there to add their voices to the protests and the atmosphere and feeling of unity and hope was fantastic.Whilst it may not seem like it sometimes there are a lot of people out there prepared to stand up for climate justice.'

No comments:

Post a Comment