Sunday 13 December 2009
After a big night, I woke up just in time to hear Ian Fry speak. He is both Tuvalu's lead negotiatior and an ANU professor. It was really interesting, hearing his perspective as an international negotiator. He was very generous with his time. He spoke about a wide range of things including an update of where things are at, G77 and China (he told a funny story about Tuvalu not being a part of the G77 although he was spokesperson for LULUCF!), believing in the process and being able to sway the course of negotiations a little. He was very funny, cracking jokes about how Tuvalu will bid for COP when it comes to the Asia-Pacific as Tuvalu has one hotel to host everyone! I would be so happy if I found a job as noble and purposeful as Ian's when I grow up.
The beautiful Church of Our Lady where the Sunday service was held and where Princess Mary and Prince Frederic got married!
We headed into town to see the chapel service at The Church of Our Lady, the Copenhagen Lutheran Cathedral. Meg was very funny – I thought she was going to kill me and Shaun for "making her late". She has a massive crush on Archbishop Desmond Tutu. While we were making her run late, she had a rant to us. "You two, you both don't appreciate Desmond Tutu! You were tiny cells when I owned his books." It was very funny.
Outside the church, there was this ice sculpture of a melting polar bear. There were similar sculptures around the city. I saw the iconic little mermaid as an ice sculpture outside COP15. It is a very powerful image, seeing the water dripping down and the pool of water at the bottom of the sculpture.
Shaun and I were interviewed by a film crew as we queued to get into the church. I don't think they got the response they wanted - when they asked us why we believe religion is needed to find a climate change solution – Shaun and I said we were interfaith!
The cathedral was full so we sat behind a column at the top. There were three symbols of climate change which were carried in the procession: glacier stones from Greenland, dried up maize from Africa, bleached chorals from the Pacific Ocean. We heard some amazing singers and there were hymns and prayers as well.
So we didn't have the best seats but we still really enjoyed it. It was more radio show, less tv experience! This is an unconventional photo of the Church on the Rock Choir who sang "By God's Grace" in Zulu.
At 3pm, church bells throughout Scandinavia and Central Europe rang out 350 times, referring to 350ppm which is the maximum acceptable level of CO2 emissions, according to the UN.
We sat near a couple from England who had cycled all the way to Copenhagen to show their commitment to seeing a meaningful outcome in Copenhagen.
The friendly English couple who really displayed commitment to the climate change cause!
I left the service early to go to Bright Green which is an expo displaying world solutions (see below for an Obama style description!)
Bright Green (From Scanorama advertisement)
"Dear Barack Obama,
If you can dream it, we can make it.
Bright Green is the largest parallel-event under UN's Climate Change Conference (COP15). 160 international companies have come together in Copenhagen to show the world solutions to the climate change challenge. If you are engaged in the challenge, we can show you the innovative solutions to a carbon neutral economy."
I heard Stephen Chu, the Energy Secretary for the Obama Administration and Dr. Rajendra Kumar Pachauri, the Chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, speak at Bright Green. Stephen Chu was very knowledgeable but not the most inspiring speaker, starting his presentation out with "So I guess I'll start my presentation now". America seems to be doing a lot of things in renewable energies. Pity they aren't doing more about setting a price on carbon or leading a global agreement.
Stephen Chu with a slide about how to achieve our energy goals.
Dr. Raj was pretty great and spoke about the role of the people to compel change in this historic time.
I met two American youth delegates who are in Germany learning about renewables. On the Metro home, Jasmine and I bumped into a couple of Americans who are here from Florida promoting green jobs. We were comparing and contrasting Australia and US' stance on the creation of green jobs and the debate that is opened up by it.
I'm feeling a bit frazzled about how I'm going to approach this next week.
I think my plan is to go to the Spokescouncil tomorrow morning, interview Aiden, lina, Wilson, Sadhie, Seb, go check out the youth talk and then go to the IARU thing.
I'll just take it day by day – I feel like I've met lots of people and done some cool things – I'm just not exactly sure how I'm going to combine it all into a report. I think the main thing is to interview people and get more of a feel of the structure of YOUNGO.