The Circle is round, we are the 25thof December, and recently the 25thCOP was held. This is my Christmas message to you, just because I care.
The 25thof December is the day that many people around the world celebrate Christmas. Christmas symbolises peace, and hope, because it marks the birth of a young boy whose mission statement was to bring peace in the world.
Yet, at the same time in terms of climate change we have round up recently the 25th Conference of the Parties (COP25), alas the global climate change summit where leaders of the world – corporate, political, inspirational and environmental leaders – gathered to discusses the world’s plan to deal with and beat climate change.
A Quarter Century Parley
Yet, this is precisely what it is: discussing it. Mostly, those COPs end with the same vain words as the year before and the promise to come up with something better by the next one. As the number suggests, this process is already going on for 25 years, or a quarter century.
Still, global greenhouse gases are increasing, the planet is getting hotter, and globally forests are on fire with the most tremendous ones of 2019 being the Amazon rainforest in Brazil, and Australia’s West Coast. Still there are many other fires to add, such as the ones in the United States, and Europe, while I have been written on thehuman-made fires in South-East Asia as well this year. And I should add the increased hurricane seasons, with hurricane Dorian hitting the Bahamas demonstrating the increased intensity of tropical storms.
Despair vs Hope 1-1
But that is enough of despair. Because still, there is hope. As the 25thof December marks hope, so must the 25th COP. Even though it may not lay in those presented at the COP. Yet, I see hope in the world moving around the COP.
While the summit took place inside, outside manifestations where hold to demand change in the climate change attitude. Not only in Madrid, where the COP25 eventually took place, but globally people took the streets. People are increasingly aware. Yet, we might not always be aware of our own capacity, impact and power.
Often I hear about feelings of fear and powerlessness with regards to the entire climate change story. Which I can understand as too many stories are out there, and too often they pull the negative card, showing us what is going wrong.
They are right, we are doing wrong to the planet, and hence to ourselves. Yet, there are many good evolutions going on as well. Prices of renewable energy technology and batteries are decreasing, making the energy transition more affordable and feasible, while new developments are on its way to take the transition to the level needed, just to name a few. I think of hydrogen in the first place, of which 2020 promises to be a special year – yet, later on I’ll come back to this topic.
Power to the People
At the same time, I see increased awareness and willingness among people of various countries and backgrounds to make part of a more sustainable world.
Yet, we don’t always know how to contribute to the new story we want to write, neither do we believe we are able to make the difference. Which I understand, digging daily into these topics as a research journalist. I admit, it gets scary and discouraging sometimes. Yet, I never give up the hope, because I do know that we can make the difference.
Simply because we are the voters, we are the consumers. Therefore, we are giving the economic and political leaders the power to govern us, to create and design our world. Hence, we do have the power to change that world, by changing our voting and consuming behaviour.
Don’t think you cannot make the difference.
Don’t think you cannot make the difference, because you are as valuable and important as the person next to you, and the one next to you. Multiply this vision by the billions of people on this planet, and we are all part of a bigger movement. All in our unique way we can contribute somehow to a better world. It might be volunteering, it might be eating less meat or changing from energy provider. It might be taking the streets, or even just talking out loud, and stepping up for your opinion. Sharing your feelings, and fears as well as hopes and wishes.
If you have a little moment between unpacking Christmas presents and finishing dishes, take a moment to think at which difference you want to make; and make it. You have more power than you might think you have. And therefore, I still have hope for this 25thof December. Not necessarily because of the COP25, but because of you.
Merry Christmas everyone !