The Cornell Institute for Climate Smart Solutions (CICSS) and the Tompkins County Climate Protection Initiative (TCCPI) organized a Talanoa Dialogue meeting in Ithaca, New York, USA in October 2018. Data and Stories that were shared at the dialogue were summarized in a final report for submission to the COP24 climate change negotiations conference – taking place in Katowice, Poland from December 2-18, 2018.
Initiated by the Government of Fiji at COP23, the purpose of a Talanoa Dialogue is to share stories, build empathy, and make wise decisions for the collective good. The process involves the sharing of ideas, skills, and experience through storytelling, with the goal of humanizing local climate change impacts. By humanizing these impacts we can all put pressure on governments and NGOs to increase their commitment to climate change action.
The impetus to hold a local Talanoa Dialogue was largely driven by a newly developed course taught at Cornell University, entitled Global Climate Change Science and Policy. Students from the course organized the local Talanoa Dialogue, a public event, on the evening of October 3, 2018. A group of twenty community members, students and faculty members from Cornell attended the event. During the process, Ithaca and Tompkins County community residents shared stories of how climate change has affected them. The team recorded the participant responses and took notes during the meeting. Community members were asked to provide their personal thoughts on the following three Talanoa Dialogue questions in order to tell our local climate change story:
- Where are We?
- Where Do We Want to Go?
- How Do we Get There?
The Cornell students and faculty then analyzed the responses provided by community members, and drafted the final report for submission to the United Nations Talanoa Platform.