Photo by Esra Sergi, United Nations

Mid-week, final week

Significant progress in the negotiating texts has been achieved, but several political issues remain, UNFCCC Executive Secretary Patricia Espinosa told ministers and other high-level officials who have come Katowice to complete the negotiations on the guidelines for implementing the Paris Agreement. “To that end, I remind you that the deadline to finalize the Paris Agreement Work Program was not one imposed by us, but by you, the Parties.”

“By finalizing the Work Program, we can immediately unleash the full potential of the Paris Agreement and its promise of a low-emissions, climate-resilient future.”

Let’s Bike

Five years ago, Sara Zein from Syria decided to bike to avoid the traffic in her hometown Damascus. What should have been a normal bike ride ended up being interrupted by verbal harassment of strangers. Seeing cycling as a daring act to change the status quo, Sara cofounded “Yalla Let’s Bike”(Come on Let’s Bike), an initiative to defy gender roles, beat the traffic and promote cycling as an eco-friendly mode of transportation.

“Cycling gave me wings to fly away from the noises of war, “ she said, introducing her initiative to a packed crowd. She said, thus far, over 4,000 girls and women have taken part in the cycling events, bicycle sales have risen by 60 per cent in the last few years, and 140 people have learned how to ride.

Gender Day

To highlight the importance of gender-responsive climate policy and to showcase women’s leadership on climate action, COP 24 marked  “Gender Day” today.  Attention to women was vital to effective climate action, demonstrated by innovative women’s leadership and empowerment projects from Syria, the United Kingdom, India and Haiti. Dorothee Lisenga, from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, told how women, at the local level, organized, and eventually prevailed on the national parliament, to allow women to own their own land.

2024 Olympic Hurdle: Aligning the Games with the Paris Agreement

The sport sector believes it can take better climate action by working together. Working with UN’s Climate Change over the past year, representatives of the diverse global sport industry created the Framework to drive emission reductions of sports operations and tap the sport’s popularity to engage millions of fans in the report.

According to the International Olympic Committee, the industry produces emissions in many ways, including through energy use and construction of venues. “With its zero carbon agenda, Paris 2024 will be the first Olympic games aligned with the Paris Agreement,” said a Committee representative, adding that there are three priorities for new Olympic constructions: distributed and shared renewable energy, resilient city ready for 2050, and systematic approach to biodiversity.

Bordeaux 2050: Wine from the Future

We hear about climate change, we read about climate change, and now we get to taste it.

You are probably wondering…how? According to Pascal Chatonnet, an expert in Bordeaux wine, the taste of the city’s signature drink will change dramatically by 2050, if global warming continues—and not necessarily for the better.

The French Association of Journalists for the Environment transformed this projection into something real. Having teamed up with scientists, the Association has created a new wine: Bordeaux 2050, a wine that is more dense and less refined version of the original. And this can destroy one of France’s most precious legacies.