After spending 13 years working at the United Nations where I followed global discussions on a range of issues, including climate change…I am a realist. The United Nations can only accomplish so much. The rest as they say…“Is up to us.” We will share our ClimateMama “post COP21 wrap up” early next week, but we wanted to leave you on this last official day of the negotiations with an inspiring reminder of why we cannot and must not give up. Last year at the United Nations Summit on Climate Change, I had the honor of interviewing Kathy Jetnil-Kijiner, the young mother from the Marshall Islands who delivered the opening address at the Summit.
Kathy passionately and decisively spoke to our world leaders, sharing a promise she delivered to her 7 month old daughter, Matafele Peinem, who was with her in the General Assembly Hall. Kathy was calm but incredibly forceful when she said that: “we all deserve to do more than just survive, we deserve to thrive.” Kathy made it all seem simple; at the end of the day, would we not all – world leaders included – do whatever it takes to ensure that our children will not only survive, but thrive? Sadly and as we know, it is more complicated than it should be, and we still have a long way to go…even knowing what we know..
Each of us CAN and MUST make a difference. So as we all take stock of what did, and did not get accomplished in Paris take some time this weekend to enjoy your family and to be in nature; cherishing what we have and also recognizing what is at risk. As well, invite your children to join you and listen to Kathy’s message to her daughter and our world leaders..You will be inspired and fortified….
With hope, gratitude and in solidarity,