It is amazing to be watching history-in-the-making at COP20 in Lima, Peru. Just two days ago, we were standing on the curb and watching the leadership arrive at the venue. One of the first experiences we had, as the Vermont Law School delegation, was seeing the leaders of the COP20 step out of black Mercedes just in front of us.
The first to arrive were COP20 President, Ministro Manuel Pulgar Vidal, along with the UNFCCC Executive Secretary, Christiana Figueres. Smiling and laughing, these two stepped out like they were excited to tackle the next two weeks in style. The opening remarks by each of them relayed a sense of hope and jubilation that we had seen reflected in their smiles as they approached the recently-constructed entrance to the COP20 site.
Next, the COP19 President, Minister Marcin Korolec, made his debut at the site. Our fearless leader, Tracy Bach, identified him as the man who had lead the negotiations at Warsaw last year. It was nice to see continuity in leadership and the determined look on Korolec’s face as he approached what would be his workspace for the next two weeks.
Our final, and perhaps most intriguing paparazzi moment, was the infamous ‘green lantern’ floating towards the entrance. There are various meanings behind a green lantern, but here, it symbolizes a desire for hope and a commitment to change; this was a bright light in our night as the sun set over Lima while the stars rolled in at COP20…