Stop Climate Chaos

Blog from Copenhagen: Part 1

Stop Climate Chaos @ Cop15

Sam Clarke
DAY ONE by Sam Clarke
Saturday 12th December 2009

The sun was shining weakly as I emerged from my compartment on the train from Koln. It had been a wet and windy evening, but even the dismal weather could not shade the drama of Cologne cathedral just next to the station. The after dinner surprise was to find that I was to share my compartment with 4 women and one unknown who was to take the sixth bed at 1am.

The trip to the convention was disturbed by the need to visit both the flat we had booked and the Klima Forum the centre for activists. Here there are 6 conference rooms and large meeting and display spaces teeming with members of the public and NGO staffers.

The flat has prevented me getting too smug about our arrangements here in Copenhagen, There has been a huge demand for any sort of space to lay a sleeping bag. Hotels rooms were supposed to have been filled months ago. I had found a flat with a double bed and a small extra room just in case. The website itemised all the usual facilities of a short break/holiday let. It wasn't until I met Michael and Andreas, the current tenants, that I realised that my conception of a flat was not quite the same as theirs. The place was their home and they were expecting to camp with their girlfriends but would be dropping in and out. What to do: complain bitterly to the agents or to allow myself to be charmed by these two young engineers in the throes of their exams?

The afternoon was spent stocking up and getting to the huge Bella convention centre to check in. This place has to be seen to be believed. There are alleged to be over 40,000 delegates expected for only 15,000 spaces and talk of rationing entry.

There is an ecology to this place which I must learn.
Now where have I heard that before? The ecology of this conference is going to be a personal achievement. How do the two centres of activity relate. And within the official centre, how will delegates (pink ID) relate to the media (orange ID) and the NGOs (a wan yellow); and who are the blue? The action is set by the agenda for the next day and by the content of the plenary meetings as well as by the "green room" negotiations.

ECO Cop15 newsletter for 12th Dec

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