We started the day out early with a bus ride to Cancunmessa, the location where most of the official side events are being held. We were held up, though, by the motorcade of Mexican President Felipe Calderon, and our bus, like many others, took almost three hours to get to the location. This meant that we missed Calderon’s opening address to the COP, along with the President of the COP’s statements at the opening plenary as well.
When we arrived, we just wanted to get our footing at the conference. The whole conference is at such a large scale, it took quite some time to figure out. The busses pulled up outside of what looks like a large warehouse with stucco siding. This is the same place that we went to on Sunday to register for the conference. We then walked inside and went through airport-like security (which happens every morning), and then walked to the next warehouse where we had our badges scanned. We were handed flash drives with information on the conference, documents, and specific information on Mexican climate initiatives.
After that, we were free to go anywhere the badge allows. We are designated as a Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) and more specifically a Research Institute Non- Governmental Organization (RINGO) since we are representing the University of Minnesota. As a RINGO, we have limited access to high-level meetings, where most official delegations and press are allowed to enter.
We are able to go to many side events, where other NGO’s and different countries give presentations of relevance to Climate. Also, we’ve been able to attend the plenary on the Ad-Hoc Working Group on Long Term Cooperative Action (AWG-LCA) and the Ad-Hoc Working Group on the Kyoto Protocol (AWG-KP). I will share my thoughts on these meetings in a later post, but overall its remarkable that there are representatives from this many countries in one place. Already, we are able to tell that there will only be more and more people showing up each day.
Check in later today for my posts on what we’ve seen so far, and the interactions we’ve had with the interesting people surrounding us.
More information on the AWG-LCA: http://unfccc.int/meetings/ad_hoc_working_groups/lca/items/4381.php
More information on the AWG-KP: http://unfccc.int/kyoto_protocol/items/4577.php
Some great news coverage of the COP, especially of the inaugural speeches:
P.S. Be sure to check out the blogs written by our delegation here on TC Daily Planet and on the IonE website: http://blog.lib.umn.edu/ione/eyeonearth/
|State Senator Ellen Anderson, Representative Kate Knuth and a delegation of University of Minnesota students are attending the COP 16 conference in Cancun, and students will share the experience with TC Daily Planet readers through blog post from the conference.|