Feelings after Doha

 

Lama Ghaddar
IndyACT

I am writing this from Lebanon, after I returned back from the Qatar National Convention Center in Doha for COP 18.

After 2 exhausting weeks and a very busy schedule consisting of attending sessions, side events and meetings, talking to delegates, doing actions and writing ECO-articles, here I am!! I went from a person who had zero experience or knowledge about climate change negotiations to someone who knows what KP, LCD, ADP and other eco acronyms mean.

One week ago, I was asked to write about my feelings at the COP, and my answer was simply: “I have neutral feelings”. Being asked that same question now, I can effortlessly say that it is the best feeling ever. I must confess that the last two weeks were a great turning point in my life; I’ve changed a lot on a personal level.

As this was my first COP, I didn’t have much background knowledge about it, but I learned a lot during my short journey to Qatar. I got to learn about the decision-making process: now I can say that I have a clear idea of how political games work.  I am sincerely disappointed by the failure of COP18, being that it was hosted in Doha- an Arab country! Why didn’t the Arabs lead? I expected Arab countries to give pledges to reduce GHG emissions since they have the financial power to do so. Why did they miss this opportunity?

There is no question that climate change is happening, but the main question remains: why are countries like Russia, Japan and Canada seemingly unaware of this global problem? We have an agreement on KP, but a weak one… is this the concurrence that we are looking for?

It is not the time to blame civil society, who had a very weak position and a feeble influence this year, nor the government. But we should always keep our positive outlook. Change doesn’t come without persistence and resistance and a lot of work (and struggle) is waiting for us.

We came to save the world, so let us keep this spirit….

 

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