Reflections from Emilia Belliveau, BCCIC Youth Delegate to COP21

Sunday Disclaimer: I meant to post this yesterday, but my baggage has yet to arrive in Paris and I was without a laptop charger. 

Saturday Disclaimer: Please forgive my brevity today. While its une bonne matin à Paris, its 4am pacific standard time and my circadian clock just went through wonderland with Alice.

I left Victoria early Friday morning and spent a day in transit, including a 9 hour timezone loss and a 9 hour flight. The flight itself was actually quite enjoyable – I finished grading assignments for the term and was alone in my row so I slept on and off quite comfortably. Once in Paris however I barely managed to stay awake and coherent enough to deal with my baggage delay (Monday update – it’s still not here) and ask how to get the Le Bouget. For us foreigners, they have certainly done an extensive job positioning recognizable helpers around the transport centres to direct people for the conference. Posters about COP21, and climate change in general, are also plastered all over the city: in the metro, airport, and on the streets.

Because I wasn’t bogged down with baggage I went directly to the conference grounds to pick up my ID badge and get to know my way around. Security does indeed run a tight ship inside the conference, and I was stopped from entering a state negotiator zone when I mistakenly tried it looking for the exit. It’s like being a frosh all over again.

I spent the evening getting settled in with my host in the 9th arrondissement. I am very lucky to be staying here on her generosity – I’m covering the costs of this experience out of pocket and it truly wouldn’t be manageable without her accommodation. Alors, merci beaucoup! Which reminds me, if you are interested in supporting my work at COP21 please contact me directly (you can comment – it’s private, or send me an email) and we can discuss the donation process. Speaking of comments, I would love for this blog to be an interactive space. Please feel free to comment with feedback, questions, or topics you’d like to hear more about during the conference!

If you’re wondering what settling in looks like, it looks like tea and my second croissant.


About Emilia Belliveau

Emilia Belliveau is master’s student at the University of Victoria in the School of Environmental Studies and an individual member of BCCIC. In December 2015, she will be travelling to Paris, France to take part in the 21st Conference of the Parties (COP21) of the United Nations Framework for the Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) negotiations. BCCIC as an organization holds observer status to this conference and will be sending Emilia as well as a BCCIC staff member to the negotiations.

Through the COP21 lead up, and during the conference itself, Emilia will be making regular blogposts which will be available both here at as well as on her personal blog space :

In her own words, Emilia introduces herself below:

Thank you for taking an interest in climate change and international negotiations.

If we have yet to have the pleasure of meeting, please allow me to introduce myself. My name is Emilia Belliveau and I’m currently a master’s student at the University of Victoria in the School of Environmental Studies. I’m interested in social justice, feminism, environmentalism, and politics – so I make an all around great party guest! I recently moved to the west coast from Halifax, Nova Scotia, and am enjoying getting to know this side of the continent.

I’ll be using this platform to share my experiences as I attend the 21st Conference of the Parties (COP21) of the United Nations Framework for the Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) negotiations in Paris. I have been nominated by the British Columbia Council for International Cooperation (BCCIC) as an ‘observer’ delegate, which simply means I’ll be let in to watch the action unfold. This blog will report on both negotiation developments and my personal observations about the conference. I’m grateful for the nomination of BCCIC that has granted me access to this flashpoint in political ecology. It’s important to clarify that the views expressed on this blog are my own and do not necessarily reflect the position of BCCIC or its affiliates.

If curiosity has brought you here – please check in often! I’ll be posting in the lead up to COP21 more about these negotiations (including background info, definitions and resources), their role in addressing climate change, the importance of a ‘treaty year’, the work of BCCIC, and other groups shedding light on Canada’s international action.

I’ll also be sharing the full story of my journey to COP21 and why attending these negotiations is so important to me.

Posted in: