The buzz in Copenhagen
by Prasad Kasibhatla -- December 12th, 2009
Climate and climate activism is front and center all over town.
I just got in a few hours ago and three things jump out –
– the extraordinary efforts that the folks here in Copenhagen have put into the event; from volunteers at the airport to help as one steps off the plane and special immigration lines at passport control – to special buses and free passes for all the public transport and the incredibly helpful staff at the conference center.
– the omnipresence of climate issues all over town; large banners on climate change, a large rotating sphere near City Hall with various climate issues projected on it, an exhibition on the effects of climate change on the Arctic in the heart of Copenhagen, about 8 people riding an ‘ecotaxi’ (a bike in which people sit in circle and pedal, each in a different direction, but the bike moves forward!) are just some examples.
– but to me the most striking thing has been the large presence of climate activists. I missed the march that Courtney and Jeannette posted on. But I saw the trains this evening, jam packed with protesters returning from the march carrying protest banners, with some even dressed as polar bears. Also worth mentioning something that apparently has turned into one of the highlights of COP15 – the presentation of thefossil awards to the top three countries judged to have impeded progress to a ‘fair, ambitious, and legally binding climate agreement’ on each day. Today’s ‘winners’ were Papua New Guinea and Japan, with the third place award not being given out and held in strategic reserve on the expectation that especially-egregious actions next week will require more than the available number of awards!