exclusion of observers at the COP19 – what are we here for?

Yesterday, big NGOs walked out of the stadium in Warsaw as a protest against the missing ambition at this COP. On international level there is no direct representation of people and lobbyists try to fill this gap. Therefore it is crucial that diverse interests are fairly represented. I don’t think that anyone minds resting on bean bags provided by an airline but there are worries that the industry is given an importance that could influence decision makers disproportionally. Protesting is one way to complain about aberrations a complementary one is to propose practical solutions.
The first youth representative in an official delegation I met here was from Tanzania. I couldn’t believe when he told me that he and his two friends just approached the delegation and they accepted to include them the young people into their delegation. Why does Germany not include the next generation into their delegation? We claim to be an open country but when it is about participation of civil society and transparency in the process public is locked out. The Netherlands, Norway and Austria demonstrate that this is not a necessity of the process, they include youth representatives and allow.

“COP- you chat with Panama’s environmental minister at the wardrobe, but about the negotiations you learn from media” – Fabian Huttner

We’re sitting in the empty hall not knowing what is going on. The last days we didn’t suffer as much from not having access to any actual debate. Most meetings were parties make decisions are closed for us. Now we cannot even entertain ourselves with side-events as all those who are organizing them are busy negotiating. What are we here for, why are we called “observer” if we are not allowed to observe? Ok, we are not part of democratically legitimated governments, but no one asks for taking part in the decision, being allowed to follow the decision making process would be nice.
Panama’s minister is leaving, as he doesn’t see anything for him to do. Great perspective!

Author: gcecologist

I am interested in every pressing environmental sustainability issue! I study in the elite study program Global Change Ecology at the University of Bayreuth in Germany.

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