Copenhagen, Climate Change and the disconnect of the layman

It took me ages to decide on whether I should head over to Copenhagen for the UN Climate Change Conference. Reasons ranged from me not being able to justify the cost and emissions when Climate Change is not my core work; having other work commitments and trying to be more focused to knowing a lot of incredible people already attending who could articulate the case for change using the right jargon. What is my role?

After loads of crazy bureaucratic arguments with the Danish Embassy I was forced to postpone my trip to the tail-end of the conference, only arriving in Copenhagen on 17th December – a day before the conference ends! Sitting in Johannesburg all I can think about is progress in Copenhagen with a sense of guilt for not having taken up the baton of responsibility.

My role has become clearer now and when I sit in silence I realize that I had known for ages what it is. Sitting in sunny Joburg behind my laptop I have been able to arrange a meeting in Copenhagen that will connect several people (see Pioneers of Change post), I am also able to facilitate the connection of several of my networks. Having spoken to my friend Dorah from South Africa delivering a paper on gender and climate change I am reminded by the strength in numbers to bring voice to an issue. I am sad that because of visa constraints and funding their are not as many Africans attending as say, a huge Canadian Youth Delegation.

Not all of us are privy to fly across the globe to attend COP15, but there are still ways to get involved:

  • Know your leader’s perspective, what they are pledging on your behalf and decide whether you agree with them:
  • Keep abreast of developments (bug your local media for increased coverage) and get involved online or locally when there is an opportunity to do so. Visit your favourite blogger site present at Copenhagen or see
  • Take action: and
  • For those of you in Brazil or Copenhagen, join Survival Academy:

The reality folks is that this is a new world, if nothing else the recession has proven that we are a global economy. The Climate Change issue is not an ‘interest issue’ it is a lifestyle issue. One of my favourite websites reminds me that it’s the logical thing to do! See:

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