Tuesday, November 19

Yesterday Brendan and I tried to get into an LDC (Least Developed Countries) coordination meeting, but the meeting location had been changed and we were unable to figure out the new location, which we have found to be a fairly recurring theme at COP. So instead of attending the meeting, we spent a while catching up on emails and preparing ourselves for the next day before going out to dinner. By recommendation from our hostel, we went to a restaurant called U Szwejka and ordered the minimum two-person meat platter, which consisted of 10 different meats, potato, and coleslaw. Four of us struggled to eat half the meat served to us (and felt disgusted with ourselves afterwards, but when in Poland…)

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We started off today by going to the Indigenous People’s caucus. We were hoping to make some contacts with IPs to further our research on REDD+. The meeting itself was a time for IPs from a variety of countries to take joint action on issues that will affect them all. As an often underrepresented and side-lined group, we appreciate the importance of these groups to band together to strengthen their voice. In the meeting, they largely discussed letters to various high-level officials, asking for consideration of the rights of the indigenous populations when making decisions. It was awesome to sit in a room full of such diversity and watch these people work together to accomplish their goals.

We then sidled into an LDC coordination meeting. Because no one stopped us, we did not realize that it was actually a closed meeting (for parties only—we are NGO observers) and we were asked to leave halfway through the meeting. Nonetheless, we were happy to have been able to watch the talks about mitigation and adaptation relating to deforestation and loss and damage. Afterwards, we watched the COP/CMP high-level plenary where Ban Ki Moon, Secretary-General of the UN, and Donald Tusk, Polish Prime Minister, among others spoke on the urgency of climate change and the need for action at this COP. Before the speakers, Poland presented a short artistic video with music where an artist drew a sustainable history of the Earth only with sand. It was a unique performance that I really enjoyed.

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So far, it’s been an interesting experience and I’m excited to delve deeper into our project for the next two days and finally attend some side events focusing on REDD+. It’s inspiring to see people from all around the world gathering to discuss climate change, but disheartening to see the lack of progress despite the number of people attending who seemingly care about this issue.

Do widzenia and dziękuję for reading!