Every morning as delegates make their way to negotiations, they can’t help but pass “My COP of Tree”, a kind of worldwide mailbox where those concerned with climate change can leave messages for global leaders.
My COP of Tree was kick-started with 196 messages, one for each global leader, written by children explaining why climate change and the environment are important to them. Anyone can leave a message, but knowing many of the letters were penned by children makes this wall of flags even more poignant as they are the ones who will inherit the climate issues we are trying to address.
Watching delegates stop to read the letters left behind their flags is an excellent example of what the climate negotiations aim to do – bring the global community together to construct a better future.
With so much to do and see at COP21, it is nice to pass this simple wall of letters in the morning remembering why what we are doing is so important.
Laura Maxwell is a first year Master of Development Practice candidate at the University of Waterloo and will be attending COP21 as part of the delegation of Kiribati, a small island nation located in the Pacific Ocean. Her special interests include climate change, restoration and marine ecology, human health and the environment, and conservation biology.