"Adaptation is what we talk about when mitigation fails"
Yukon's COP21 delegation got to Paris Sunday morning after a 10-hour flight overnight. Luckily, Sunday was a turn-around day for the climate conference, so those of us staying out near Charles de Gaulle airport, just beside a lovely little village of Roissy-en-France, got to take the bus over to the COP site to pick up our accreditation and get the lay of the land.
As we queued for our badges, I glanced through the glass and found myself looking right at Alberta's Environment Minister, Shannon Phillips.
The summer before she was elected, Shannon and her partner visited Yukon and stayed at our cabin at Crag Lake. I haven't seen her since the NDP government's May swearing-in ceremony. Shannon has been busy as she and Premier Notley deliver on Alberta's ambitious environment agenda.
Accreditation in hand, Rebecca World, Director of Yukon's Climate Change Secretariat led Grand Chief Massie, youth delegate Sabrina Clarke and I on a circumnavigation of the COP21 bus service and Paris metro as we toured the site to locate the main venues and meeting rooms. The COP21 site is about an hour (on a quiet Sunday) by metro from downtown Paris. We attended a Canadian delegation briefing with members of Canada's negotiating team, where the mood is positive although there are still issues to be dealt with. In the words of Canada's negotiator, a strong agreement is "still possible". I understand that Canada's environment minister will be back at the main table on Monday.
I'm still thinking about what a negotiator said in reference to the developing trends at the negotiating table: "adaptation is what we talk about when mitigation fails".
After over 24 hours without sleep, our Yukon crew finally decided at around 8:30 pm to call it a day and head back on our circuitous metro/bus journey to our hotel.
Monday will be a full day. In the morning, I'll be at the main session. I plan to attend a discussion on fossil fuel subsidies and climate change: a presentation on the international fossil fuel subsidy reform phase-out. One of the Canadian negotiators on that project also presented at our Sunday briefing. There is such a difference to hear Canada's reps embrace, rather than reject, what the world has long seen as one of real impediments to moving toward a renewable energy future.
I'm also going to try and attend a talk in the Nordic pavilion on the rise (and risks) of green financing.
And, as a side note, when I went for a walk to Roissy the roses in the little park are still in bloom.