The Sustainable Waterloo Region network has some pretty incredible people in it, and that includes the amazing folks on our board of directors. While none of the SWR core team was able to attend COP21, we were represented there by one of our board members, Ian Rowlands. For those of you that may not have had the pleasure of meeting Ian, he is a Professor and Associate Dean, Strategic Initiatives (Faculty of Environment) at the University of Waterloo.
I had coffee with Ian this week and we talked about his experiences in Paris and he mentioned three blog posts that he wrote while he was there. I encourage you to read them! They are really interesting and provided for me some more personal understanding of summit and the impact it could have.
The first blog talks about themes that emerged for Ian while in Paris. This includes the message that “Canada is Back,” which made so many proud. That one message for me was a powerful one that drove home how important our work is.
The second blog is about the evolution of COP from the first one that Ian was at (COP1) and this one. Included in this is the sheer number of people that came, and the subsequent attention and importance of the decisions and agreements made here.
The third blog talks about what’s next. The agreement is an accomplishment that all parties should be proud of. However, making the change happen is where the real work is. All of us at SWR should be proud of the part we play in helping to reduce our environmental impact, and it is my hope that more attention and participation will be driven by the agreement from COP21.
Thank you to Ian and all the representatives from Waterloo Region that were in Paris, helping to connect our vision to international action, and thank you to all the SWR team members, partners, and program members that help us play a role in this goal and help us save our planet.