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  • Writer's pictureamanda haran

A Week Of Contrasts: From Coal Miners To Carbon Mitigators

Last week was a whirlwind of experiences that left me pondering the intricate relationship between energy production and climate change. It was a week of contrasts, yet with a shared sense of pride and hope.

It all began with attending the UN's 2024 Global Methane Forum in Geneva, Switzerland. Surrounded by experts in carbon mitigation, I felt privileged to be at such an event. However, what struck me most was the recognition that we were all citizens of the world, committed to making a positive impact. From environmental non-profit think tanks to national political representatives, we all gathered to debate and embrace change. Seeing the shoots of climate change emerging from the soil of collaboration was heartening.

Poster from the Global Methane Forum UN 2024 Geneva, UN

In a bizarre twist of fate, I was to journey from methane mitigation to coal mining, and I found myself at a choir concert later that week. I was there to support the Onllwyn Male Voice Choir, whose rich singing tradition runs as deep as the coal in the valley where they are located. It was a moving experience to hear their deep sense of pride and history in their voices. What struck me most was the realization that these were the families of the people who had mined the product I had been looking to eradicate just a few days earlier. It was a challenging juxtaposition to process, and I am still working on reconciling these two bedfellows today.

Welsh men's choir wearing green jackets on a stage
Onllwyn Male Voice Choir

Amidst all these experiences, I received my Carbon Literacy Certification, a timely reminder of the importance of individual action in mitigating climate change. It was a humbling experience that further reinforced my commitment to making a positive impact.

These experiences taught me that despite our differences in expertise, background, and experience, we can all come together to effect change.

It takes a village to significantly change industry and climate, and that village needs to represent a diverse range of stakeholders. We need to be willing to listen, embrace change, and work collaboratively to make a positive impact.

In the end, what people share in the Venn diagram of energy production and climate change is a deep sense of pride and commitment, granted at different time stages of their experiences, but equally moving and hopeful. It is this shared sense of purpose that gives me hope that we can work together to create a better future for ourselves and future generations.



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