• by Alison Kentish (saint lucia)
  • Inter Press Service

She caught to science, discovering her path in chemical engineering. She grew to become a scientist targeted on important reactions to fixing real-world issues like bettering water high quality in the UK.

Her consideration to element, commentary abilities, and grounding in science finally led her to a profession in local weather negotiations and local weather justice.

As Director of Local weather Justice on the Open Society Foundations (OSF), she is dedicated to the group’s reason for expediting a good, clear, low-carbon, and resilient transition in our societies.

Reflecting on her journey, she acknowledges that the duty is daunting, however she stays optimistic for the long run. Her roots as an islander gasoline her drive to battle for a extra simply and resilient world.

“Susceptible international locations, together with Islanders, have performed a important function in shaping negotiations and the result of local weather negotiations over time by bringing each tangible expertise and an ethical voice to this subject whereas additionally bringing options. Whilst small Islanders, we at all times felt that we had been large on options,” she mentioned in a sit-down with IPS.

The transfer from chemical engineering to local weather justice director could also be non-traditional, however for Dagnet, it was a transition hinged on making use of her ideas and abilities from the lab to the policymaking desk.

“I stored the spirit of problem-solving in an sudden profession transfer. I see negotiations and the diplomatic world not as chemical reactions amongst merchandise however as chemical reactions amongst individuals—a individuals alchemy,” she mentioned.

The Altering Nature of Local weather Negotiations

When Dagnet entered the sphere of local weather negotiations, the main focus was predominantly technical, she instructed IPS. Issues have modified since then. The talks have morphed right into a extra political sphere, more and more formed by geopolitical dynamics. It’s a shift that Dagnet says requires an understanding of the varied pursuits of nations on the negotiating desk.

“After I joined the negotiations, we had been simply moving into the implementation of the Kyoto Protocol,” she mentioned, including, “Over time, all the things that will have an effect on geopolitics would have an effect on the local weather negotiations as effectively. That was actually key to creating belief and understanding for touchdown the Paris Agreement itself. The Paris Settlement was not only a local weather settlement. It had change into a socio-economic and environmental settlement that needed to be contextualized.”

“Now that we’re moving into the implementation part once more of a complex agreement, to achieve that breakthrough, we now have to know the completely different pursuits of nations—200 international locations, 200 completely different pursuits.”

The composition of the annual local weather talks can be completely different, reflecting the change from a technical gathering to 1 with extra obvious political hues.

“There’s been what had began to be an train, and a gathering of initiated diplomats and technocrats expanded to convey all arms on deck for implementation. Extra from the personal sector, extra from civil society, and extra from indigenous individuals, ladies, and youth. So, there was a development when it comes to inclusion, but in addition extra pursuits and a larger danger of company seize over time.”

Local weather Negotiations, then the Open Society Foundations

Whereas working as a chemical engineer within the UK, Dagnet was concerned in water high quality. It was a possibility to make sure that merchandise in touch with consuming water had been secure and of the very best requirements. It was throughout that point, already working with inspectors, that she grew to become extra acquainted with the nexus between local weather and water, together with the protection plans that wanted to be put in place to mitigate the impacts of local weather change on consuming wants.

In 2007, she was then indifferent to France’s Minister of Atmosphere and Sustainable Improvement, of their worldwide division, the place she gained beneficial expertise main delegations, establishing cooperation, and twinning packages between France and Jap European international locations. The first objective was to boost the capability of nations in search of entry to the European Union. It was a defining expertise for her, serving to her to check completely different technique of capability constructing to mirror what might be simplest and sustainable.

It made for a clean transition to the local weather area.

“I used to be privileged to hitch the UK local weather staff at a time when the UK was a local weather chief—enacting the primary local weather change invoice, organising the primary local weather change committee, and counting on a lot knowledge and proof rising from the UK greenhouse fuel stock I used to be chargeable for. Being the UK deputy focus for the IPCC at a time when the IPCC gained the Nobel Peace Prize. Becoming a member of the UK local weather delegation below UNFCCC on the turning level of the negotiations to form the Paris Settlement,” she mentioned.

“Whereas negotiating for the pursuits of the UK, I used to be in a really distinctive and numerous delegation that had a complete outreach technique with completely different international locations that had been additionally dedicated to coalition constructing outdoors and throughout the negotiations. I used to be eager to first have the chance to make use of my problem-solving abilities and the truth that I needed to essentially look into options and put these options into motion, not only for the UK, not only for the EU, however for the remainder of the world, together with essentially the most susceptible international locations.”

The chance got here to hitch an internationally famend, US-based suppose tank, the World Assets Institute, in 2012 and advance strong analysis, evaluation, and coverage suggestions for designing a brand new rule-based local weather regime.

“It is convening energy was actually attention-grabbing, and for me, ensuring that you don’t produce artistic options which are placed on a shelf, however how one can actually have a look at the facility and interplay with completely different stakeholders, not simply governments, however the religion neighborhood, completely different civil society constituencies, how one can actually, once more, construct bridges and check concepts, to essentially give you one thing that has legitimacy.”

To do this, Dagnet organized a number of consortiums. The duty was not simple, but it surely was essential.

“I discovered the facility of consortiums. First, it is harder to work in a consortium as a result of it is truly a platform of negotiations the place you do not navigate only one mindset, one view, a method of addressing a problem; however by creating the suitable consortium, you convey the legitimacy and credibility that signify completely different views from completely different international locations, which in the long run actually helped us to get the traction and inference essential to form a significant settlement.”

After virtually a decade, the Open Society Foundations was a pure match for her information and passions to work as a funder to empower the sphere, help new concepts and evaluation, take grassroots and authorized actions, and interact in diplomatic and advocacy efforts. Her precedence has been supporting simply resilient outcomes, particularly in uncared for areas like adaptation to local weather change and politically delicate points like losses and injury. The way you face local weather impacts you can not even adapt to—that may value lives and livelihoods and generate irreversible financial and non-economic (e.g., cultural, social) damages. One other space of focus was the implications of a simply power and industrial transition, making certain equitable use and deployment of important minerals, minimizing unintended environmental adversarial results and social or labor abuse, whereas spurring the flexibility for resource-rich mineral international locations to maneuver up the manufacturing ladder. All of those are issues of justice, fairness, and human rights. Making certain accountability and inclusion inside nationwide and worldwide processes just like the COP was important.


The previous local weather negotiator was in Dubai, UAE, for the 2023 local weather talks.

Like many, she welcomes the landmark announcement of the operationalization of the Loss and Harm Fund on the primary day of COP as a hard-won victory. “200 international locations, together with a petroleum state, have agreed to maneuver away from fossil fuels and to operationalize a loss and injury fund that has taken so lengthy to be established,” she mentioned. “Now that we have a roadmap, we now have an preliminary capitalization, even when it solely represents lower than 1 p.c of what’s actually wanted.”

She, nonetheless, says that there isn’t a place for complacency. These breakthroughs are a long time away, nonetheless little, very late, and missing the required tempo wanted to impact the change wanted.

Furthermore, Dagnet says the brand new local weather offers have shortcomings. She is especially involved about a number of the controversial applied sciences talked about within the agreements, which lack adequate safeguards and measures to attenuate unintended adversarial impacts on frontline communities and the surroundings. As an example, “the reference to transition fuels, which, with out the suitable accountability mechanisms, might be overused and used as a license to delay a number of the radical modifications that must be finished.”

Wanting Ahead

The following 12 months is poised to be an attention-grabbing one on the worldwide local weather scene, with a watch on how the commitments on power and roadmap to construct resilience might be remodeled into tangible actions and the way ongoing campaigns to reform the worldwide finance infrastructure will pan out.

“2024 is de facto shaping as being in regards to the technique of implementation to maintain 1.5 alive and construct resilience inside that threshold. We all know that the UAE, Azerbaijan, and Brazil dedicated to the supply of a monetary framework via their “highway map to mission 1.5 C. There must be a powerful mobilization of various stakeholders to help, inform, form these frameworks, and make them a actuality,” says Dagnet.

She took the chance to specific her appreciation to all companions, particularly frontline communities, who typically danger their lives on this local weather change battle. “With out them, we’d not have secured these hard-won breakthroughs.”

Dagnet expressed her hopes that their efforts might be redoubled and rewarded sooner or later.

“We have to pull up our sleeves. There’s loads of work to do, which may solely be efficient if we create and harness the synergies and intersections between local weather and well being, local weather and nature, and local weather and commerce.

And as for Dagnet’s work—it doesn’t matter what, “I believe I’ll stay a local weather and social justice avenger.”

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© Inter Press Service (2024) — All Rights ReservedOriginal source: Inter Press Service

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