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Why Christiana Figueres chose optimism over climate doom

Christiana Figueres: why I chose optimism over climate doom, The leading climate change diplomat called for “stubborn optimism” New Statesman, INDIA BOURKE. 6 Oct 17,  “…….doom and gloom is not the method counselled by Christiana Figueres. The Costa Rican diplomat has won global acclaim for her leadership of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change.

As its executive secretary of the organisation, she was responsible for steering the world towards the epic success of the 2015 Paris Agreement – an accord which has so far seen 167 countries ratify their pledges to tackle greenhouse gas emissions.

 Speaking to a group of young environmentalists at a PeaceBoatevent last weekend, Figueres explained that she achieved this feat by refusing to give up on a message of hope:

“Name one battle that has been won with pessimism: None!” she told the assembled room. “You do not go at a battle or a challenge with pessimism, because by definition you will not win. So that is why I bring [a] tsunami of optimism to this whole darn thing – because we have to.”

“I call myself a stubborn optimist. And I invite you all to be stubborn optimists.” Then she added: “But you also have to be stubborn and don’t give up.”

If someone says they’re going to build a wall in your path, then “go around” it, “fly over” it, or “dig under” it, she counselled the audience. “Whatever barrier is put in front of you, if you know that you want to obtain something, do not give that barrier the power of paralysing you.”

 It’s a message Figueres herself has come to live by. Six years ago, when she first took over the secretariat, the prospect of a reaching a global agreement on climate change seemed impossible…….

This optimistic resolve eventually helped pull off an international agreement on climate change, in the form of the 2015 Paris Agreement. According to the event’s chair, Richard Black, director of the Energy and Climate Intelligence Unit, it was an essential change of approach. “This whole thing was revived in Cancun, really, by you and Patricia Espinosa. And it was a very different dynamic – it was very consensual, very bridge building.”

So how can the world add to these achievements and prevent the climate from breaching the all-important 1.5 degrees celcius rise? And how can individuals replace feelings of despair with a sense of empowerment and hope? Here are eight thoughts from Figueres’s talk:…….

Number 5. Change the system – not just individual behaviour:………


October 6, 2017 - Posted by | 2 WORLD, climate change

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