Sunday Activities Around the Climate Conference

Today (Sunday), I arrived in Bonn. I had flown into the Frankfurt Airport and the highlight of the journey was to ride on a high speed train at 150 miles per hour. It was amazingly smooth and quiet. Along the way, there were well-cared-for fields and farm houses with many surrounding wind turbines. My host told me that the German government is very careful about land use planning so the population of 80 million people can live in a moderate-sized country and still have sufficient agriculture and forests.

I managed to get registered for the conference, but my pass does not start until Monday so I was not able to attend any events. The conference is located at two ends of a large urban park. Since the weather was relatively pleasant during part of the day on Sunday, there were many local residents that came out to see some of the displays. A large inflated dome in the shape of the earth had long lines of people, even when the weather started turning blustery and cold. There was also an amusement park where the traditional ferris wheel and other rides were combined with some climate-themed activities.

On Sunday, there was also a climate summit of local and regional leaders. “Local and regional governments are strengthening their resolve to curb climate change and prepare for its effects.” This event was co-hosted by the city of Bonn and the State of North Rhine-Westphalia. Most of the sessions are panel discussions with interactions in the form of shared storytelling and facilitated debate. The scheduled concluding presentation was by Arnold Schwarzenegger, a founding chair of one of the sponsoring groups.

Tomorrow, I am looking forward to an orientation session for new COP (Convening of Parties) observers conducted by Climate Action Network, an umbrella organization for non-governmental climate organizations, including Climate Generation. “Fossil of the Day” is one of their clever programs during the UN Climate Conferences in which they highlight countries that are impeding progress in the negotiations or in implementing the Paris Agreement.

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