|Christiana Figueres, executive secretary of UNFCCC|
“What if we don’t succeed?” is asked of Christiana Figueres,
months before the climate summit.
Tears well up in her blue and hazel eyes.
“Ask the islands. Ask Bangla Desh.”
Here is the woman charged with saving the world.
Chairing the world climate summit, fearlessly taking on
almost two hundred world leaders-
with her emotions intact, with her tears and her laughter,
her deep hearty laugh always at the ready.
And she succeeds!
O Christiana, with your well-trained sense of respect,
wanting no supremacy of one culture over another,
not needing to make anyone take the blame,
the anthropologist ‘til the end.
With her staff of five hundred, the Secretariat,
she rips off her formal jacket
Fending off global collapse with international agreement.
Nothing is impossible!
Christiana travels the world, pulling, pulling,
pulling us all together. We are inextricably linked,
“consciously uncoupling” our growth from our emissions.
“This is your moment,” Christiana tells the ministers.
The agreement is emerging, a new child,
a new kind of child of the world’s making!
Christiana, how we hold you up in praise.
Christiana, go ahead and cry your tears!
Those big, healthy tears for us, for our world,
that yes, you have helped so much to save.
December 14, 2015
This week, we've had the glorious news that the climate change summit in Paris has come to an agreement accepted by almost 200 countries! In this poem, I give thanks to the woman who pushed, pulled, persuaded and corralled all these disparate peoples so that we may all survive.
For an excellent article about Christiana Figueres, see Elizabeth Kolbert, "The Weight of the World," in the New Yorker, August 24, 2015.
|UN Secretary Ban Ki-moon and Christiana Figueres. It's time!!|
|Be proud, Christiana!|