What am I supposed to do with my feelings?

Credits to David Tong

Credits to David Tong

By Margherita Tommasini

I experience panic attacks. I already share this struggle with the people I love, so it does not really matter if now the Internet will know about it.

I sort of knew what I was getting into. Last year I attended COP21 in Paris. I did not have accreditation for the Blue Zone, but I spent the three weeks in the Ville Lumières engaging with different levels of civil society and getting a glimpse of what climate negotiations look like.

In Marrakech I was finally able to unveil the true story.

Given my history of anxiety and general depression, in early September when it was time to decide whether to join the preparatory course to attend the COP, I had asked myself whether I could have handled an unknown amount of stressors and whether it was worth it. I told myself that I could not surrender to the monsters in my head. And I went for it.

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A COP of Action?

By Laura Berry & Margherita Tommasini

“As we open COP 22, 100 parties have ratified the Paris Agreement. All together, we have made possible what they said it was impossible and we have done it with determination, we never gave up, this is a historic moment” ~Ségolène Royal, President of COP21

The official Opening Ceremony and first plenary session of the COP 22 climate negotiations in Marrakech, Morocco took place today, signifying the formal return to the negotiation table for Parties to the Paris Agreement. The President of COP 21, Ségolène Royal, introduced the session by celebrating the entry into force of the Agreement, which took place on November 5th.

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Lobbying Chronicles – Part III

By Margherita Tommasini

The lobbying tour, organized by Corporate Europe Observatory, took place on December 3rd 2015, with the goal of bringing the buildings of the Parisian business district La Dèfense to life: they are seats of power, where decisions are influenced, where lobbyists work and wield power.

Read more about the tour and its first stop (Engie) at Lobbying Chronicles: Part I

Read more about the second and third stop (Total and BNP Paribas) at Lobbying Chronicles: Part II

Stop four: EDF

EDF (Électricité de France) is a French electric utility company, one of the largest producers of electricity in the world, whose primary energy source is nuclear power. With its 58 active reactors in France, EDF tries hard to greenwash nuclear power and promote it as a form of sustainable energy. EDF is owned 84% by the French government, and is an official sponsor of COP21. As sponsor, EDF gained more visibility as a “green” energy source despite being once of the main players blocking the European transition to renewable energy. In other terms EDF got the chance to “sponsor” itself to make sure that despite the large losses faced by the nuclear industry, and the need for deep subsidies, business as usual is safeguarded. Read more…

Lobbying Chronicles – Part II

By Margherita Tommasini

The lobbying tour, organized by Corporate Europe Observatory, took place on December 3rd 2015, with the goal of bringing the buildings of the Parisian business district La Dèfense to life: they are seats of power, where decisions are influenced, where lobbyists work and wield power.

Read more about the tour and its first stop (Engie) at Lobbying Chronicles: Part I

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Lobbying Chronicles – Part I

by Margherita Tommasini

As we “tunnelled out” from the darkness of the metro, the panorama we encountered was definitely not what I was expecting. A week ago, I received the weekly newsletter from Corporate Europe Observatory,  a research and campaign group working to study and expose the different powers and their lobbying effects within the European policy making framework, with a specific focus on how corporate power has infiltrated the realm of climate politics. The email invited anybody in Paris, to join the Corporate Lobby Tour. With nothing more in the description, Aura, Klever and myself decided, despite the COPmania, to take time off and be “tourists” for a day. The meeting was at the Grand Arch de la Dèfense, a squared construction surrounded by a mass of skyscrapers. I have a hard time relocating myself and reminding myself that I am still in Paris, and the metro has not magically transported us somewhere in Soviet Union or in the financial district of London or New York. Read more…