Official country delegations ran from pillar to post, mixing with people from New Zealand to Nicaragua, all of whom brought with them stories of climate change and how it is already affecting their lives. It was a sight to be seen.
We soon met with Sam Maleshi Shivaji, Livelihoods Coordinator at Caritas Kenya, who told us of the extreme drought his country is experiencing and its grave effects. We quickly overcame our sense of awe at being part of such a huge international conference, as his words brought us back down to earth.
We heard of the problems people in Kenya have in trying to determine when to plant crops as the agricultural seasons are no longer reliable and the fears they have for the future, as they can no longer tell when the rains are going to come. Climate change is already very real for the people of Kenya.
But we also heard stories of courage and of hope, of how people across the world are taking steps to ‘cut the carbon’ in their own lives and rallying their governments to get us a deal that brings justice for those living in poverty.
We then left the Bella Centre and took to the streets to add our voices to over 100,000 others at the Global Day of Climate Action rally. We marched through the streets of Copenhagen to remind leaders at the Bella Centre of their duty to act boldly, and with a sense of justice in their minds and hearts.
The atmosphere was incredible and there was a real sense of solidarity as people from all countries and of all ages and faiths chanted and marched as one.
Arriving back at the school where we are sleeping, in time to grab a much needed cup of tea and an Eccles cake, we were all exhausted but exhilarated.
There was a real sense today, out on the streets at least, that times are changing, ambition is rising, and there is hope for a fair deal at Copenhagen.
As the sun sets on an uplifting and inspiring day of action, my last thoughts are hopeful too: that our chants rang out as loudly in the negotiation halls today and world leaders will begin now to act accordingly.
Posted by LucyH