WYA member Sylvia Karlsson-Vinkhuyzen of the PAP group attended the second week of the COP21 conference in Paris where a new universal legally binding agreement on climate change was adopted on 12 December.
She followed the negotiations for her research until the very end and witnessed the historic adotion. She also organized a side-event on the theme of “Accountability After Paris” bringing scholars, civil society and government experts together to discuss who can and should hold states to account for the promises they make in Paris and beyond. Some of Sylvia’s contributions are captured in the policy brief published and widely circulated just before the COP, see http://climatestrategies.org/publication/strengthening-accountability-under-the-2015-climate-change-agreement/.
The side-event took place in the Netherlands Climate Pavilion and was co-organised with Climate Strategies, One World Trust and the International Environment Forum. Other speakers contributed on the topics of the role of science and public servants in accountability. A former head negotiator for Panama and a member of the New Zealand parliament served as commentators and spurred on a lively discussion on accountability at both international and domestic levels in the climate regime. On 10 December Sylvia spoke at a side-event on principles for accountability for climate change agreements at the Climate Generations Area (open to the public) next door to the COP on 10 December. A full hall and insightful questions from the audience led to a vivid discussion on how to re-imagine accountability and on whether accountability and sovereignty of states are compatible concepts.