Temperatures dip to a chilly 5 deg. C and a sense of anticipation is in the air on the eve of Cop15.
It has taken me about 17 hours to reach Copenhagen after transiting in Amsterdam. The hotel I’m staying at is a 20 minute trek away from the Copenahgen Central Station and the city looks bleak with harsh winds blowing amid a bleak, grey sky.
Welcome to Copenhagen, the Danish capital that prides itself on being a leader in environmental sustainability, a city that ‘s clean, where public transport is efficient, and cycling is so encouraged there are separate traffic lines for cyclists, but also where coal is used to generate power, and where waste produced per capita is one of the highest in the world.
It’s only been one day but I’ve come to be acquainted with the host nation of the UNFCCC Cop15 meeting, which begins tomorrow.
Getting accredited at the Bella Centre has taken all of four hours thanks to a bomb scare in the afternoon, which led to Danish police barricading the entrance to the accreditation room and left the media to stand out in the cold.
Apparently they have employed more than half the Danish police force at for this conference.
Climate refugees depicted in an art installation by www.sevenmetres.net
Just outside the conference venue where I am standing, scary-looking bronze statues of refugees stand knee deep in water in the canal next to the venue. A salient point being made by www.sevenmeters.net, an art project launched to highlight the problems caused by the climatic change, with a special focus on the human victims – the climate refugees.
It is one of many art installations that dot the city while the 15,000 delegates begin to stream in. At the Copenhagen main square, an ice sculpture of a polar bear is left there melting.
When we finally got inside the centre, we stood in line for ages to get our passes. It was still relatively empty with media, NGOs, and delegates just settling in, getting familiar with the venue.
Because of the bomb scare, we missed the pre-summit press conference, parts of which you can watch online.
Tomorrow - the summit kicks off with an opening ceremony at 10am.
Will keep you posted!