Tuesday, December 15, 2009

COP15: Day 9

The level of security at the Bella Center is high. There is overcrowding outside the Bella Center, so the metro stop at the Center is closed. Thousands, including myself, walked to the Center from a nearby metro station.

This morning, I got a special pass to attend a session with Arnold Schwarzenegger, the Governor of California. It was exciting to hear him speak. He said that an international agreement is not all that is needed to make progress in the climate change movement. He recognized that governments, with the cooperation of cities, states, provinces, regions, corporations, activists, scientists, and universities are part of the movement towards a cleaner future. Change and progress require people to work together and take action. He challenges people, nations, and cities to lead by example in the climate change movement.

Today only 7,000 NGO accredited participants were allowed to enter the Bella Center, compared to about 15,000 that have been attending the conference daily. WAGGGS can only have 11 accredited individuals inside the Bella Center, but we are thankful to WOSM for sharing some of their extra badges with us today. Still, not all of the WAGGGS delegation was able to come to the Bella Center today. I am here on behalf of the Americans in our delegation, and tomorrow Sarah and Maria will attend to represent WAGGGS and USA.

I attended US Secretary of Agriculture, Tom Vilsack’s presentation this afternoon. Last week, the afternoon presentation by Secretaries of State had a strong youth presence, but today, I was surrounded by party members and accomplished NGO participants. I felt very lucky to be in the room for the presentation about climate change and US agriculture. Vilsack announced an agreement between the USDA and US dairy producers to use manure for energy projects on farms. This will help curb CO2 emissions on farms.

This morning, the Gender YOUNGO group met, and we are in the process of finalizing our policy recommendations and policy summaries that we will hand-distribute to negotiators this afternoon and tomorrow. I have a meeting pending for this afternoon with Barbara De Rosa-Joynt, who is the Multilateral Initiatives Coordinator of the US State Department. I delivered a policy draft to one of her colleagues yesterday about the Capacity Building section. She is a former GIRL SCOUT and is interested in learning more about our mission here at COP15.

This afternoon, I will attend some more side events, talk to people about youth and women in the text, hopefully meet with Barbara, and collaborate with US Youth on writing questions for the US Delegation Briefing with Jonathan Perhing tonight.

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