COP21 Day 1 Recap!
I spent the first day of COP21 roaming what is affectionately known as the “Green Zone”. Folks accredited with a badge are permitted to roam the all-sacred “Blue Zone” (where Heads of State gave opening speeches and official negotiations go down, etc), however the French government did an excellent job of ensuring there was a space for non-accredited guests and the general public to engage at COP called “Climate Generations” or the “Green Zone”.
Upon entering the pavilion, we were immediately greeted by a friendly welcome team, a fun social media wall and a hilarious charging station that will gladly exchange your sweat for electrons! Check out Chargebar’s post on how the pedal power will solve the world’s three biggest problems.
Below are a few highlights of the booths I visited:
The Climate Ribbon Project
Simple, elegant and effective – The Climate Ribbon Project poses the question “What do you love and hope to never lose to climate chaos?” As a participant, you write your answer to the question, tie it on the tree, and then take away a ribbon to be the “guardian” of another participants wish.
As a lover of delicious food, I wrote “arable land”. The loss of farmable land in the climate fight, particularly as millions in the world’s poorest regions go hungry, is an imminent threat to food security. I have been consulting the International Institute for Sustainable Development for further reading on the nexus of sustainable land use and climate change.
The ribbon I took away? It read: “the ocean, the coast”. Fitting for a West Coast girl who grew up swimming in the Pacific Ocean.
I spoke with Rae Abileah, an “Evangelist-at-large” with the Climate Ribbon movement, and she educated me on the portability and distributable nature of the ribbon’s impacts – i.e. the ability to plug it into the opening/closing of an event as a way to unite participants and remind them what they’re really fighting for. Ribbons can be activated anywhere, anytime – contact them if you’d like to do it at your next event!
Solar Sound Station
Pretty self-explanatory – soOooOoO cool!! Rock-on, #enernerds! Their website is all in French, but it appears they are bookable for all sorts of parties and events.
These guys roped me in with their super sexy screen right on one of the main promenades in Climate Generations. Turns out they’re measuring global emotion and engagement about climate change via crazy algorithms plugged into social media. #NBD.
In a follow-up email, COP21Horizon representative Matteo Fumagalli informed me:
“Horizon creates an environment of exchange, understanding and visualisation of what happens on the social media, in real time, on a specific debate or topic. This tool uses top-notch algorithms coming out of EPFL and applied for the first time on such an event.”
A quick browse of the website show their polling of heavy-hitting questions like “Will COP21 succeed?” “Should economic growth be sacrificed for climate?” and “Should activists protest in France during COP21?”
Before You Go
To wrap up on a light note, please enjoy this photo of SE Executive Director Meredith Adler, SE Co-Founder Janice Tran and myself “carbing up before COP” at our local boulangerie :) A la prochaine, mes amis!