I've asked to spend the week meeting France's most successful climate policy professionals and learning about some of their innovative programmes, particularly in the areas of food and agriculture, which I feel we can learn a lot from in Ireland. I'll be blogging about those (socially distant) meetings throughout the week so more on that later.
In the meantime, I'm writing from Stena Line's Rosslare to Cherbourg ferry in an effort to keep my carbon footprint as low as possible for this trip. For those that doubt the climate benefit of going over land and sea versus flying, I've done the math for this trip (because that's just how nerdy I am), and it turns out that I've saved a considerable about of CO2 compared to flying even with the added distance:
Miraculously, my propensity for sea sickness has stayed at bay thanks to relatively calm seas, and I actually enjoyed the feeling of being rocked to sleep in my cabin and I woke feeling abnormally refreshed. I can't say I am missing airport security and being packed in a plane like cattle at all, and I'm getting a lot more work done (and Netflix binging) without any distractions during my time on the ship.
With many more ferry routes opening up between Ireland and France care of Brexit, I could see "slow travel" being a much more popular way to travel to our closest European neighbour. If Irish Rail could just get the train times to Rosslare aligned to the ferry departures (hint, hint), it would be a winning combination. There's also a need for the ferry companies to provide greater transparency about the emissions from their ships as those vary considerably based on boat design, number of passengers, goods on board, etc., and my calculations were based on relatively crude estimates rather than real numbers from the boat I am currently on. However, all we can do is our best, and I'm happy enough with my best for this particular trip.
By the end of today, I'll be in beautiful Paris and looking forward to a jam packed itinerary for a whole week of precious learning. Stay tuned and keep fighting the good fight!