What are you here for?

© Rita Effah

Yesterday while having lunch I saw a young Dutch boy and his sister with this T-shirt on that read at the back “ I am fighting for my future! What are you here for! This had me thinking through the night about 30, 000 people  or so here from all over the world. The people of Johannesburg are wondering, why are they all going to Durban to see 17 cops/policemen according to President Zuma of South Africa.  This morning as I walk through the exhibition center, it reminds me of a Ghanaian market place, but without people screaming come and buy fish/vegetables etc. At this COP 17 market place, merchants are showing off ways in which they are contributing/ advocating to making our planet a better place. This is encouraging and soothing to me. It makes me hopeful even though what might be going on behind close doors of the negotiation isn’t so positive.

What are you here for?

Africans say we have not caused climate change, we only contribute 3.6%, but yet we stand to lose the most. Therefore they are here speaking with one voice.I think the approach all delegates should  be taking is to all accept the blame and speak with one voice in solving the problem. What common voice there is here is that all are acknowledging the problem yet nobody is willing to pay the price of securing our planet.

Christiana Figueres puts it this way by answering the question of what is going on here, is that we are  writing a global business plan for the planet, we have almost 200 governments been the authors. She says this business plan is not going to be finished at a single COP. It makes me think this business plan has taken 17 years to come together but still not ready, it better be good once its ready. Can we afford to have a perfect business plan, it’s a no no, we cannot wait, we don’t have that luxury as Ms. Figueres puts it. We need to start now and time for implementation of this global business plan is now, we are running out of time.

Others say they are here because they love the Kyoto Protocol. I believe Canada and Japan have made it clear they hate the Kyoto period.

Others say we are here to meet and network with high-level, important people. That is important but there is a saying in my local language which literally translates as, “do what is important first before you do what is deserved”.

Dear delegates, people are here for so many reasons and they want you to listen to them. Who do you listen to? If I may answer for you, listen to the children most importantly and fight for their future.

Thank you Daniella Marini, Jasmine Hyman and Theodore Varns for your contributions.