COP24: Highlights In Quotes And In Pictures

During the two weeks of COP24, we’ll update this article with pictures, quotes, and highlights about what’s happening at COP.

Words

Anne-Sophie Garrigou

Wednesday, December 12th

“This is the time for political compromises to be reached. This means sacrifices, but it will benefit us all collectively. I challenge you to work together for that purpose. I challenge you to accelerate and finish the job. And to raise ambition on all fronts. To waste this opportunity in Katowice would compromise our last best chance to stop runaway climate change. It would not only be immoral, it would be suicidal. This may sound like a dramatic appeal, but it is exactly this: a dramatic appeal.” — António Guterres, Secretary-General of the United Nations.

Monday, December 10th

The Trump administration hosted a side event to promote fossil fuels at the UN climate summit in Katowice. Ten minutes into the event, over 100 people in the audience started chanting “Keep It In the Ground,” then stood up and blocked the panel from view.

“After refusing to believe its own scientific report on climate change, the Trump administration continues to promote coal power at the UN climate summit. What’s next: ignoring all the science about tobacco and promoting it at a global cancer conference? The fact is: with no help from this administration, the U.S. is leading the world in moving away from coal power, and reaping all the economic and health benefits that come with cleaner energy. We should be helping other nations do the same.” — Michael Bloomberg, UN Special Envoy for Climate Action

Sunday, December 9th

“Welcome” or “note”: in climate change negotiations, the wording is very important. Last night, Saudi Arabia, the US, Kuwait and Russia (four big oil and gas producers) refused to “welcome” the UN’s landmark scientific report on the effects of a 1.5C rise in the global temperature. They said it was enough to “note” the findings, and they won this fight over poor and undeveloped countries, small island states, Europeans and many others, who called to change the wording to “welcome” what many considered as the most influential climate science report in years.

Saturday, December 8th

Climate March in Katowice

About a thousand people marched in the streets of Katowice on Saturday to ask the world’s learders to act quickly to fight climate change. But the absence of those who have been denied to enter Poland for the period of UNFCCC conference didn’t go unnoticed.

“Journalists are the voice of the voiceless, they play a key role on influencing public debate and influencing public opinion” – Sahaj Man Shrestha, a media consultant and TV journalist from Nepal.

Thursday, December 6th

Indigenous People’s Day

On the structural problems in our food system:

“The top 20 meat and dairy corporations emitted more emissions than Germany in 2016.
The top 5 meat and dairy corporations combined emitted more emissions in 2016 than ExxonMobil, Shell or BP.
It doesn’t need rocket science to understand who need to get their act together.” — Shefali Sharma, Institute for Agriculture and Trade policy

Wednesday, December 5th

“We pretend that fossil fuels are cheap fuels only because we don’t include the health cost they have on our societies”

According to the World Health Organization, meeting the goals of the Paris Agreement could save a million lives a year. Read about how health benefits far outweigh the costs of meeting climate change goals.

The World Alliance for Efficient Solutions

Bertrand Piccard is back at COP24 to present sustainable innovations that are not only good for the planet but are also profitable. Read our article here.

Tuesday, December 4th

Greta Thunberg

She is the young face every journalist wants to interview in Katowice. On her Twitter account, the young woman describes herself as a “15 year old climate activist with Asperger’s”. Despite her young age and the complexity of questions she was asked in Katowice, Greta remained eloquent, clear and determined on delivering her message.

“The media need to put the climate crisis on every headline, on every front page.”

Read her story here.

Mae Carol Jemison

“It’s not the technology that’s missing, it’s not the science that’s missing, it’s the commitment.”

Dr. Mae Jemison, the first African American woman in space, joined a high-level session launching eight days of focused events and dialogues on Global Climate Action, aimed at building a bridge between government delegates and non-Party, public and private stakeholders in the global response to climate change.

The People’s Demands

Day 2 at COP24 in Katowice started with the launch of the People’s Demands for Climate Justice: keeping fossil fuels in the ground; people-first solutions to the climate crisis; ending the corporate capture of climate talks; and reiterating that developed countries must honour their finance obligations to developing countries.

Monday, December 3rd

Arnold Schwarzenegger & Hindu Oumarou Ibrahim

What do you get when you put Arnold Schwarzenegger, famous movie star come climate saviour and Hindu Oumarou Ibrahim, pioneer of indigenous rights and representative at COP of the Indigenous Peoples together in a discussion about climate change? An eye-opening reality check. Even though both are very involved in the fight against climate change, the polarity of these two worlds make their realities, goals and actions fundamentally different.

When Arnold Schwarzenegger praises the benefits of technologies to save the planet from climate change, Hindu Oumarou Ibrahim explains that the people she represents do not even have access to electricity.

When California burns, Canada comes to the rescue, but when the drought or fires strike the Indigenous Peoples, nobody comes.

“We have been talking about climate change impacts for 20 years, today we need solutions. We have to listen to the people’s need, and we need to build the technology but build them with the people.” — Hindu Oumarou Ibrahim

Antonio Guterres, #1 of the UN

“We are in trouble. We are in deep trouble with climate change. (…) Even as we witness devastating climate impacts causing havoc across the world, we are still not doing enough, nor moving fast enough, to prevent irreversible and catastrophic climate disruption. Nor are we doing enough to capitalize on the enormous social, economic and environmental opportunities of climate action. We have no time for limitless negotiations.”

Sir David Attenborough launches “The People’s Seat” initiative

“The People have spoken. Leaders of the world, you must lead. The continuation of our civilisations and the natural world upon which we depend, is in your hands.” — Sir David Attenborough

Read more here

Do you need a little reminder about what COP24 is all about?

What stands for UNFCCC? What’s the COP? Who organises it? Why is it important? And what’s happening there? Everything explained in our article: COP 101.