Climate Diplomacy Week is an annual initiative by the European Union to keep the spotlight on international collaboration.
In the years following the unsuccessful Copenhagen climate summit in 2009, EU diplomats built a broad, global coalition of developed and developing countries. The so-called High Ambition Coalition ended up playing a key role in making the historic Paris Agreement on climate change a reality.
Last week (12 – 18 September), European embassies around the world celebrated Climate Diplomacy Week 2016, demonstrating the EU is as committed to climate action as ever – despite its slow-moving Paris Agreement ratification process, which involves the union’s 28 national bureaucracies.
“Equally as crucial as the ratification of the Paris Agreement is the full implementation on the ground,” stressed EU climate commissioner Miguel Arias Cañete diplomatically in a statement – while also pointing out that he is keen to ratify the agreement as soon as possible. “Let’s get it done!” he urged.
Cañete also quoted European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker, who happened to give his annual State of the European Union address during the same week: “We make ourselves ridiculous and lose credibility if we do not soon ratify the Paris Agreement.”
— Miguel Arias Cañete (@MAC_europa) September 14, 2016
But unfazed by the challenges back in Europe, EU diplomats around the world organised conferences, debates, exhibitions and film screenings to encourage an informed debate and a global response to climate change. You may have come across the glitz and glamour of the online information campaign, but what was it like on the ground? We’ve selected a few tweets!
Climate-KIC kicked the week off with a tweet pointing to the #ClimaDiplo hashtag where you can now review the entire week.
— Climate-KIC (@ClimateKIC) September 12, 2016
In Australia, German ambassador Anna Prinz highlighted how “cutting emissions and growing the economy aren’t incompatible” at an event in Melbourne, according to this tweet by Annie Schultz.
— Annie Schultz (@SchultzAnnie1) September 12, 2016
Andrea Fontana, the EU’s ambassador in Jordan, tweeted a drawing of a polar bear using tape in an attempt to keep an ice shelf from breaking up.
— Andrea M. Fontana (@AndreaFontanaEU) September 12, 2016
Climate change minister Lily D’Ambrosio of Australia’s state of Victoria, tweeted that she was speaking at the screening of the European climate change documentary Tomorrow at Australia’s national film museum in Melbourne.
— Lily D'Ambrosio MP (@LilyDAmbrosioMP) September 12, 2016
The EU’s ambassador in Australia, Sem Fabrizi, was also at the documentary screening and tweeted that he would be making an appearance on Sky News.
— Sem Fabrizi (@FabriziSem) September 12, 2016
The EU delegation in Australia tweeted a trailer for Tomorrow, the documentary about climate change solutions released ahead of the 2015 climate chang negotiations in Paris.
— EU in Australia (@EUinAus) September 5, 2016
“An agreement, and now?” The French embassy in Moscow tweeted, linking to an opinion piece in a Russian newspaper by the French ambassador, Jean-Maurice Ripert.
“We will not stop,” Ripert said about the fight against climate change.
— France en Russie (@FranceEnRussie) September 12, 2016
The EU representation in Colombia tweeted a newspaper article which says European Union ambassadors in the country are calling for progress on the Paris Agreement.
— UE en Colombia (@UEenColombia) September 12, 2016
The EU’s representation in Kenya also tweeted a newspaper clipping about Climate Diplomacy Week, linking to the online version of the article in the Standard newspaper.
— EUinKenya (@EUinKenya) September 13, 2016
During a radio interview, Richard Young, the EU’s deputy head of delegation in Nigeria, said there is a lot of room for improvement for Nigeria in the area of energy efficiency, according to a tweet by the Yar’Adua Foundation.
— Yar'Adua Foundation (@SMYFoundation) September 14, 2016
Young also made an appearance on the country’s Love FM radio station to talk about Climate Diplomacy Week according to a tweet by the foundation.
— Yar'Adua Foundation (@SMYFoundation) September 17, 2016
“Renewable energy will transform access to power in Nigeria,” the EU tweeted. More than 18 million homes in Nigeria are not connected to the grid, and could benefit from decentralised power generation.
— EU in Nigeria (@EUinNigeria) September 13, 2016
The EU’s representation in Bosnia and Herzegovina tweeted photos from a recycling workshop that was organised for children in Sarajevo as part of Climate Diplomacy Week.
— EU in BiH (@eubih) September 14, 2016
During the workshop, primary school children learned how to recycle paper, the EU’s info center in Sarajevo tweeted.
— EU Info Centar BiH (@euinfocentar) September 15, 2016
“Students are the largest civil society group in Nigeria,” the EU’s head of delegation, Michel Arrion, told students at the University of Port Harcourt according to a tweet by the Yar’Adua Foundation.
Arrion made his comments at a screening of the Nowhere to Run movie about Nigeria’s environmental crisis.
— Yar'Adua Foundation (@SMYFoundation) September 15, 2016
Arrion also stressed that “climate change is compatible with economic growth” during his visit to Port Harcourt according to a tweet by Amara Nwankpa.
— Amara Nwankpa (@Nwankpa_A) September 15, 2016
The European Union’s delegation in Nepal celebrated Climate Diplomacy Week by “cycling around Kathmandu,” according to a tweet by the EU delegation.
— EU in Nepal (@EUinNepal) September 17, 2016
Rensje Teering, the EU’s ambassador in Nepal, also tweeted a photo of the event in Kathmandu.
— (((Rensje Teerink))) (@RensjeTeerink) September 17, 2016
The German embassy in Nigeria tweeted that it would be hosting a free “hip-hop” concert with rapper Megaloh to mark the end of Climate Diplomacy Week.
— EU in Nigeria (@EUinNigeria) September 16, 2016
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