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: she’s tired and no one’s listening to indigenous people.
“If you were looking for a nice and neat overview of the COP23 UN Climate Talks, I’ll save you the bother now. I can’t even pretend to have a handle on the full breadth of the negotiations. While we’re all trying our best to keep whānau at home abreast of our mahi in Germany, the reality is that it’s a giant clusterfuck we’re all struggling to make sense of.
For November, Bonn is the city that does not sleep. We’re gradually becoming immune to the cacophony of dings, rings, and whistles, that sound minute by minute into the wee hours as if all our devices have been issued a directive specifically to fray our nerves to the point of delusion. I’ve never felt exhaustion so deep in my bones.
It’s impossible to keep up to date with everything in these negotiations.
Hell, even following one topic (like the Indigenous Peoples’ Platform) you find yourself drowning in a rising sea of pedantic yet necessary text edits; circular arguments; action proposals; action invitations; press conferences; mailing lists; informal informals; and “bilaterals”… If I’m being honest, it feels like you need a law degree just to order a coffee here, never mind follow the negotiations…”