Arriving at COP21December 04, 2015
I landed in Paris before dawn on Thursday morning. A few hours later - after dropping off my luggage and cleaning up - I made it to the site of the COP21 United Nations climate conference. I spent about half the day wandering through the "Climate Generations" area, which is also known as "the green zone." The official negotiations for the climate agreement are in the adjacent buildings and are known as "the blue zone." The Climate Generations area is open to the public, includes lots of presentations and exhibits, and provides opportunities for diplomats to meet with people not allowed in "the blue zone."
The green zone is near-constant activity, beating and swirling from each direction. Numerous exhibits, art displays, and marching activist protests/actions greet people throughout the hallways and around most corners. After a couple hours, I thought I'd seen it all. But then I realized I was just about one-third of the way through!
At one point, a bunch of faith leaders from several denominations and a Jewish organization huddled together for some dialogue, reflections, and strategizing. A smaller group of us met again on Friday to talk about a more specific effort for moving beyond COP21. I enjoyed both times as we considered how faith communities can impact perspectives on climate change.
You can see more photos from my first day at COP21 here.