Registration, exploration

Monday, 7 December 2009

Last night I met two Americans from Ithaca University who were in my dorm. They mentioned they were heading over to register early today because they heard the number of badges was going to be limited at COP15.

This morning I woke up and headed over with them. However, when we got there we realised what their friend had told them (that rego opened at 9am) wasn't actually true and rego only opened at 12. Patrick and I went back to Sleep-In-Heaven because he had left his wallet in the room. We then went back to the harbour to check out the Greenpeace ship although once we got there, we realised it wasn't opened today.

Patrick talked my ear off about his life story – how he started out pre-med, then his best friend died and he re-evaluated and decided to study health admin, only to get kicked out in his final semester for helping a friend cheat because her mum was sick and she wasn't studying enough. Now he has just finished an undergrad degree at Ithaca and is applying for grad school at Duke, Columbia and Yale for Environmental Management and Sustainability (or something like that ...) Anyway, it was interesting to hear his convoluted path and how sometimes something really bad can actually be a blessing in disguise – like him getting kicked out of school because now he has found something he is really passionate about.

We got back to COP15 only to find the line super long for registration. Patrick, being bold, asked someone at the front if we could jump in line because he had been there early but just forgotten his wallet. I was so embarrassed at how forward he was but they let us in the line (later I met up with Ella Bella who said she stood in line for 4 hours outside in the cold!) so it didn't take as long as it could have!

A map of COP15. Oh the places to see!

Once we got inside and registered, we ate a great, cheap lunch. We got our hands on a side events program and wandered around. The place is huge and I've never seen so many computers in my life!

I bumped into Alex Raf, a guy who went to Burgmann College with me. He is now working for an NGO on climate justice. He seemed to know a lot about it and was talking about the inequity of climate change and how developed countries have already used 60% of the atmosphere and the rest should be left for the developing world/the developing world should get reimbursed for it .... I'll ask him more later.

Fossil of the Day, Fossil of the Day, who is bad, who is worse?

I saw the Fossil of the Day awards. Fossil of the Day is an institution at COP. At the end of each day, Climate Action Network, presents "Fossil of the Day" awards to the countries which have been particularly obstructive in the negotiations that day. My friend from COY, Siri, was representing Sweden which was awesome (good for Siri, not so good for Sweden!) I went to the Youth Forest Working Group and I am more certain that I want to track them and the REDD/LULUCF developments.

Check out:

I'm thinking of researching a topic along the lines of:

"The impact that NGOS (specifically the Youth Forest Working Group and ECA) have on LULUCF and REDD negotiations during COP15"

I was buggered, hopped on a bus to the Opening Ceremony at the Town Hall where I had a whole bunch of sandwiches (Copenhagen may in fact be a very conducive environment for a backpacker's budget! - I've been able to limit my eating budget to free food/hot dogs/danishes/fruit) and bumped into a couple of friends from COY. I met Josh who was telling me how he got into the American climate change movement after living at Punta Mona in Costa Rica for a month. Punta Mona is a completely self sustaining farm which is off the grid. Apparently anyone can go and live there for a month or more at a time. I want to go one day!

Copenhagen's beautiful town hall where the COP15 Opening Ceremony reception was held. My photo does not do the building and its architecture justice!

I headed back to the hostel after that and I'm now going to bed. Must get some sleep before a hectic two weeks!

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