After the gavel came down : Comments from civil society inside the room at COP21

Even though the big name / big polluters had left the room to go and congratulate themselves in 5 star hotels, civil society groups stayed to give their speeches after the adoption of the paris agreement. Here is what Aneesa Khan, a youth delegate from India said:

zn0F_0tr“The self-congratulation in this room is palpable. We’ve heard that this moment is “a turning point for humankind and a message of light.” These are pretty words, meant to provide us only an escape from reality.

The denial in this room is palpable. Nobody wants to hear the inconvenient truth, which is no longer climate change itself, but rather the fact that the Great Escape of the developed world comes at the expense of real lives, real bodies in the South.

The lack of ambition in this room is palpable. You did not “achieve” anything. All you achieved was silencing the voices who stood in your path, and allowing power to run its course. You achieved business as usual.

We are on track for three degrees of warming, mere lip service to fair shares, no new or additional finance, and a crippling exclusion clause in the Loss&Damage mechanism. You have failed the People’s test on climate.

But dear delegates and political leadership: The indignation in this room is also palpable. Though the Agreement is weak, the Climate Justice movement is strong. Today, the climate justice movement came of age. We now know that our political leadership will not deliver what’s needed, no matter how many lives are at stake. Onwards, we go united.

We will deliver an energy revolution that serves people and not corporations. We will build the justice that the Paris Agreement did not deliver. Somos semillas, and as you have buried us today, so we will grow to reclaim our power.”

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