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COP23 - Week One

By Ayuska Motha, November 12, 2017

Stacey Kimmig and I have been attending the 23rd Conference of the Parties (COP) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC)

in Bonn this past week. For the first time ever, a small island nation Fiji, is presiding, although the COP is being held in Germany. FAWCO is fortunate to be one of the 27 member organizations of the Women and Gender Constituency (WGC) and we have been able to learn so much from our WGC colleagues and have worked to support them as much as we can.

WGC has been busy working with women’s organisations, indigenous people and small island developing states, and parties to draft the elements of a Gender Action Plan

(GAP) designed to increase women’s participation and representation in the UNFCCC process. The first week was busy for many within the WGC

working to bring about awareness of and to promote the adoption of the Gender Action Plan. The major success so far is that the Gender Action Plan will be adopted!!

Well done to all those hardworking and innovative women (and man) who were in some way responsible for the adoption of the GAP.

So, what else has been going on at COP23 over the past week?

Al Gore gave a presentation on November 10th on “The Climate Crisis and its solutions”. His presentation included incredible photos and video clips of extreme weather events

over the past years and he urged leaders to stop energy subsidies. He ended on a positive note, illustrating with impressive graphs just how much many countries are investing in renewable energy.

Right outside COP23 in a smaller tent pavilion the “We are still in” movement is showcasing US Climate action by non-federal leaders. Despite the U.S federal

government stating their withdrawal from the Paris Agreement, the signatories of “We are still in” are doing their bit to support the U.S. in achieving its greenhouse gas emission reductions. These US climate leaders represent state governors, mayors and council members,

campuses and businesses and investors and it was encouraging to see a positive US presence, albeit outside of the actual COP23. Within COP23, I did see and hear

some US delegates during meetings and negotiations and many US experts were part of panels, giving press conferences and generally still present and participating.

There is still much to discuss and negotiate over the final week of COP23 and I will report back again to you all on the events and outcomes.

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