Sixbert Simon Mwanga
Climate Action Network – Tanzania
The second week of November 2013 witnessed delegates and representatives from more than 190 countries landing on Polish land. The reason for their coming was not to see the beauty of Poland but to discuss and make important decisions on harmful climate change impacts at the UNFCCC Conference of Parties 19 (COP19) and the 9th session of the Conference of the Parties serving as the Meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol taking place from 11 to 22 November.
The first week of the Warsaw climate change conference was full of sadness and sorrow due to Super Typhoon Haiyan which caused massive deaths across our beloved Philippines. These were the innocent people with insignificant contribution to climate change. This can be a topic of its own.
Since their arrival, civil society representatives have been showing their clear concern and demand from delegates to take a lead in making decisions to address climate change; both causes and impacts. However, since 1994 and up to now, not much ground has been covered in these negotiations. There has been a culture of lagging behind which has favored the increase of events related to climate change around the world.
This leaves many questions to already suffering and vulnerable communities. Among these questions, one could ask “what motivates delegates to make right and timely actions?” If delegates are not motivated and cannot act based on what science tells us regarding the climate and global warming, wouldn’t they be motivated to save their children, elder brothers and sisters who are already suffering from the impacts, sometimes to death? Why can’t they consider and value billions and billions of money their governments invest in infrastructure year after year that then get destructed within a minute? Should climate scientists stop climate studies and put heads together with medical doctors and psychologists to find what can motivate UNFCCC climate change negotiators to take right and timely actions?
Should we continue delaying while learning words and vocabulary to use while extending our condolences to countries and families which will be losing their manpower and future generations? Should we continue waiting to advertise ourselves in meetings that we care enough and we have offered money to bury dead people? May be we should find another name to replace the word delegate.
“Country representatives”: increasing finance, adaptation and mitigation ambitions here in Warsaw, this is what we want from you. This is our simplest indicator of success. Don’t turn yourselves into stones, please establish international mechanisms on loss and damage.