Samstag, 7. Juni 2008

Kyoto in Bonn - again

It's Saturday, but the climate negotiations are going on as usual. And I am trying to remember how many days of my life I have spent at the Maritim in Bonn - in the name of the climate. Under the huge chandeliers of this boring, somewhat pretentious, hotel, it can be difficult to remember the reality of the climate crisis. The reality of floods, droughts or oil-polluted land - not of elevator music and 3 EUR coffees .... The reality of destruction, that we are here to remind governments of - and to force them to, at least, prevent from getting worse .... As I walk back and forth between meetings, I despair of the lack of urgency many government delegations seem to feel. It's then that I wish the Lifeboat we built here in 2001 would still be standing in front of the Maritim and remind governments of the urgent need - and popularity - of decisive climate action. - The Lifeboat was built by thousands who had all written their demands to governments on wooden planks and hammered them personally onto the boat. Once done, the Lifeboat was pushed all the way from downtown Bonn to the Maritim. Thousands were allowed into the UN security zone. And for days, government officials had to pass the Lifeboat as a memento, when they walked from room a to b. The Lifeboat, at least according to ex-environment minister Trittin of Germany, may have helped save Kyoto in June 2001, when that oil man from Texas had just announced that the US will not ratify it ... So imagine my delight yesterday, when I noticed that the UNFCCC secretariat has the plank we gave to the Chair of the climate talks back in 2001 with them to their temporary office at the Maritim. "Kyoto in Bonn" it says. And I must say, it looks as beautiful as ever. The plank reminds me of one of the most fun activities I have ever organized (I have a few planks at home as well). May it remind governments of what they are here for: action!
P.S. And here am I looking much younger in 2001 - proud to show off "my" baby

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