Where is all the climate action happening? In Copenhagen, Denmark! After an eight-hour flight, a ten-hour layover in Amsterdam, and another hour flight I have finally arrived in Copenhagen for the negotiations. The city is beautiful and alive with the energy of COP 15, posters and displays are on nearly every street corner advertising this Olympic-sized conference. One interesting display in particular was a Polar Ice Bear sculpture located in Nytrov square. This 11 ton block of ice was carefully crafted by world renowned sculptured Mark Coreth and encased by a bronze skeleton at the center.The Polar Bear is a symbol of the rapidly warming climate and the animals who are effected by this. The ice represents the Arctic habitat of the polar bears, when the ice is all melted, the polar bears will drown–lost in a sea of climate change. It is a great wake-up call for citizens who don’t see these animals in their natural home, who aren’t there to witness these changes.
Other interesting displays include such things as a 55-foot Christmas tree colorfully illuminated with thousands of lights solely pedal-powered by bike! Citizens can hop on a bike and pedal for a few minutes to generate electricity for the lighting. Another cool display I wandered upon on my way to meetings, was a giant C02 balloon. This huge balloon was erected to create a visual display how big one metric ton of carbon dioxide is.
It feels like the whole city has turned out for the displays and the Hopehagen live concerts. I immediately was put to work attending the Conference of Youth (COY) with about 500 youth from every country in the world. It was a humbling experience to meet my global peers and discuss strageies towards climate solutions. The rest of the day was spent obtaining my UNFCCC badge for entrance to the conference. In order to attend the conference, you must be associated with an accredited organization (Will Steger Foundation) to get your badge. I stood in line for 3 and half hours waiting to get my badge, part of this outside in the cold. There are about 15,000+ people registered for the United Nation Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). I can’t wait for the negotiations start on the 7th!