Kera Sherwood-O’Regan (Kāi Tahu) is an Aotearoa Youth Leadership Institute delegate to COP23, the United Nations Climate Talks in Bonn, Germany, reporting over the three-week conference. This week: COP23 is finally over, but what did it achieve?
“Two weeks of intense negotiations have come to a close and I have no idea what to make of them.
I suspect it will take weeks, if not months, to really process everything that happened in the alternate reality bubble that existed in Bonn this month. It felt like the entire city was swallowed up by a political force field, completely cut off from the rest of the world. In that bubble, all the rules you learned in POLSCI; the years of activism; the social norms; everything you thought you knew about climate change, and yourself even, all gets thrown out the window.
In this parallel universe it is so easy to get swept up in the pedantry and the strength of a specific word in square brackets. Soon, you too become a COP zombie: three week’s sleep debt propped up by your fancy badge and sense of superiority in understanding the intricate details of a precise tidbit of text.
With such a narrow focus, it’s easy to forget that there are lives enclosed in those square brackets, and livelihoods at stake in between each line…”