Diakonia - People change the world
Anna Axelsson and Martin Vogel Climate observers Anna Axelsson and Martin Vogel. Photo: Gustav Hellsing

They are our observers in Paris

The climate summit in Paris has begun and Diakonia and Church of Sweden are both following the negotiations. Climate consultants Anna Axelsson, Diakonia, and Martin Vogel, Church of Sweden, hope for an ambitious agreement and a predictable funding to poor countries.


- As representatives of the civil society, one of our main tasks is to witnessthe negotiations. That gives us an opportunity to report on what is going on and to hold countries or groups accountable. But there is a risk that the assignment becomes more difficult if the negotiators chose to close us out from the negotiations. It only happened now at the last preparatory meeting in Bonn, says Anna Axelsson.

A global network is a huge advantage

Diakonia and Church of Sweden are both part of the global ACT-alliance that has run the campaign Act Now for Climate Justice during 2015. To belong to such a global network is a huge advantage during the climate negotiations says Anna Axelsson, since it means having access to colleagues with different experiences and networks.

- Although we have a global assignment, my main task is to maintain a dialogue with the Swedish delegation and persuade them to acknowledge our priorities, says Anna Axelsson.

The expectation is that the climate summit is the starting point of a process, during which world leaders realize the seriousness of the moment and maintains the progress made during the year, for example agreeing on UNs new development goals.

- Those goals will be impossible to reach unless we get a climate deal that interrupts the course for a temperature rise. Global warming will confront us with consequences which we will have a hard time dealing with, for example people being forced to leave their homes, says Martin Vogel.

Funding in focus

The climate summit, COP21, is planned to last for two weeks. The agreement is divided into different areas where negotiations will last parallel. Anna Axelsson and Martin Vogel will mainly follow the negotiations concerning funding, for example for climate adjustment, since it is a topic closely linked to climate justice.

- Particularly important is that the financing becomes predictable and that a considerable sum is taken from public funding since that provides better opportunities for transparency, accountability and for the countries themselves to produce plans for adaptation and conversion, says Anna Axelsson.