When asked what positive outcome has come from COP17 this week, my original thought was ‘not much”. But then thinking about it over the past few days, I seem to have become more optimistic. Despite all the negative publicity, it is possible that the awareness generated from COP meetings makes it all worthwhile.
In a discussion over late evening pizzas last night, one messages stuck with me; COP17 may create tension, may create a despondent atmosphere, especially when it comes to the negotiations and signing of the Kyoto protocol (or not signing for that matter), BUT at least we are active! Ultimately this is better than sitting back and not discussing the relevant issues around climate change, at least COP17 allows people to network and generate working relationships.
COP17 also brings the issue of climate change to the public (seen even in comic strips, see below). This was clearly seen in the march that took place this morning through the Durban streets. With an expected attendance of 20 000 people holding banners and demanding change, the march sent a positive message of awareness.