Don't get us wrong, we know that climate change is serious business and hope as much as anyone that the COP 17 delegations in Durban will come up with solid plans to reduce global carbon emissions - but life would be boring if we didn't add a few Zulu Dancers, a brass band, and a climate change train to the mix, right? In true South African style, the environmental agency Indalo Yethu and a handful of partners decked out an old train with a variety of projects that address climate change, including new technologies, plants, and a symbolic Coral Reef art project. The train is making its way across the country for one month, and it arrived in Durban just as COP 17 got underway. It was met by traditional Zulu Dancers, a honking brass band, and even Christiana Figueres, Executive Secretary of the United Nations National Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).
The train has already stopped in 17 cities and towns across South Africa to raise awareness about the importance of reducing our carbon footprint – just in time for the 17th climate change conference currently underway in Durban. Throughout its journey, the train’s on board educators have opened dialogue with everyone from individuals to community groups, churches, schools, and even businesses. After the conference, it will continue on and eventually return to Cape Town.
Indalo Yethu’s CEO, June Joseph-Langa told South Africa’s SABC news that the train is designed to reach people who lack access to information, and stressed the importance that everyone understand how they will be affected by climate change. We love this unconventional approach, particularly since it’s on rails, thereby promoting public transportation at the same time.