Delegates and volunteers at COP22 in Marrakech, 2016. Photo by Sustaining All Life.

Many activists all over the world are noticing that the challenge of accelerating climate change is not a reason to despair in that it gives people everywhere a unique opportunity to advocate on everyone’s be­half. It’s a unique opportunity to make significant change without setting one group against another. We are in the process of learning that oppression—including racism, the oppression of In­digenous peoples, classism, and sexism—must be ended to fully stop the destruction of the environment. This is the message that has been spreading through the many people’s movements that have been steadily growing over the past few years and that have contributed in no small measure to the political change embodied in the series of high level conferences on climate change – Paris, Marrakech and now Bonn.

The UN Climate Change Conference of this year, known as COP23, takes place between 6-17 November in Germany but is hosted by the island nation of Fiji. The Climate Campus where the conference will happen is organized in two zones: the “Bula Zone” and the “Bonn Zone”.

The Bonn Zone, which will be located in Bonn’s Rheinaue Park area, will accommodate events showcasing climate action, including high-level events, side events and exhibits organized by both UNFCCC and the Government of Germany. It will also include some media activities as well as events in the delegation pavilions. This is where Bright Green will also be present from 9 November to 17 November, with the help of the two authors of this blog post, Nuala and Alexandra, who will be volunteering in Bonn as part of the delegation of a NGO called Sustaining all Life (SAL).

Together we will bring Bright Green readers as close as possible to the action at COP23, by regularly posting news and impressions from workshops, fringe events and talks at the conference. We will also post interviews featuring especially people who are directly affected by climate change and will be focusing on the role of racism in disadvantaging populations of the Global South affected by environmental degradation and in dividing the environmental movement; as well as the role of women, indigenous people and young people as leaders in the climate movement. We will bring you messages of hope and courage and will aim to infect you with the enthusiasm that we have for the way in which individuals and groups can be strengthened to prevail over the massive challenges that climate change poses to our world.

Throughout the next week in Bonn, stay with us as we listen to the inspiring voices of people who are fighting to end all oppressions and who are building the long term relationships and emotional support to be able to sustain us in our struggle over the long term.

Sustaining All Life is an international grassroots organization working to end climate change within the context of ending all divisions among people. We use the tools of Re-evaluation Counseling to provide ongoing mutual support that people use to free themselves from the discouragement, isolation, and other internal struggles caused by societal oppressions and other experiences that keep us from working cooperatively for the common good in our communities and in the world around us.