3 December 2015 | Category: COP21

Pick up the pace

By Jessica de Koning

Jessica de Koning is research coordinator of REDD+ research ...

In an article of the Guardian, the French minister of environment, Mr Laurent Fabius, urged the climate negotiators to work harder as the progress is too slow. Well, as I write this I am sitting in the Thalys on my way home. This train certainly has picked up the pace. This will be my last blog.

Yesterday and today I was caught up in conversations and presentations about climate related issues that show just how complex it al is. Is that naïve that I thought it was ‘just’ about adaptation and mitigation? Perhaps. Walking along side the exhibitions of all the different NGOs and universities, I read their statements. Climate change is related to gender, indigenous rights, to poverty, to children, to Facebook, to petrol, to research, and so much more.

To make it just a bit more complex: INDCs are the intended nationally determined contributions. Countries have drawn up their national plans and made their own statements about how they are going to tackle climate change. All these INCDs have their own country specific approach so the variation is big. Also, they represent a bottom up approach in the negotiations. A global climate agreement should link to all the different INDCs. The hidden anthropologist in my likes this, but what does this mean for the outcome?

And then there is REDD+. According to Martin Herold, Wageningen University, our ‘best bet to conserve the forests’. Many tropical countries have taken up REDD+ in their INCDs. This is good news; there is a real commitment of countries. But REDD+ by itself is not enough. REDD+ needs to connect to agriculture, needs to relate to the landscape, and needs to be linked to broader perspectives.

This is just a glimpse of what I see in these three days that I have been here. I can only imagine the issues that are on the table of the negotiators. But lets hope they do pick up the pace and we can celebrate a brand new climate agreement by the end of next week.

By Jessica de Koning

Jessica de Koning is research coordinator of REDD+ research at Wageningen University.

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