COP15 Recap on the Way to COP16
Published 06th October 2010 - 0 comments - 1365 views -
A COP15 resolution with a legally binding agreement never stood a chance. This was not because the average citizens of most countries in the world didn’t want it. On the contrary, the effects of climate change speak to the fundamental human instinct of self defense and race procreation and from this point of view, the Copenhagen summit should have marked the beginning of a new, more sustainable era. This was because the decision makers didn’t have a real interest in signing a real global climate deal. The 13 day gathering did, however, end up in a an Accord, which is admittedly better than no accord, plus it released some of the moral pressures put by environmental NGOs, media and common people over the heads of our beloved leaders.
And despite its political outcome, COP15 was, in the end, a breakthrough in terms of logistics and how to organize an event of this level, the sustainable way. With 33,526 active participants flooding the Danish capital from all round the world and a constant critical mass of reporters, campaigners, bloggers, journos and commentators moving back and forth between Bella Center, Klimaforum, Fresh Air Center and other relevant places, it is admirable and impressive that the event still achieved climate neutrality, offsetting 100% of its CO2 emissions.
The great sustainable achievements of the green initiatives at COP15 included:
• First United Nations event to achieve BS8901 certification of its management system
• A new benchmark standard, the Copenhagen Sustainable Meetings Protocol, soon to be ISO20121
• 100% of carbon emissions were offset
• 93% of the 33,000 participants used public transport
• 53% of hotels in the greater Copenhagen Area eco-certified
• 20% reduction in CO2 emissions at the Bella Centre
• 4% of the venue's energy consumption generated by an on-site wind turbine
• The Bella Centre eco-certified and established as a model of a sustainable conference venue
• 11-15,000 people a day fed in a sustainable manner for 2 weeks
• 75% of the food and drink certified organic and 40% of the food locally sourced
• €600,000 saved by not giving gifts and used instead for scholarships
More statistics and numbers are available here .
The Danish summit also laid a stepping stone for social interaction and set new records of people and communities rallying to do their part in acting for climate. As an extra interesting thing, in the aftermath of COP15, Firstmove started developing an international sustainability iconology, called Sign up Green. Just like the traffic signs these are special symbols, meant to be used to emphasize good behavior and pursue people to less energy consumption. It would be interesting to find out whether the new language has been implemented anywhere (possible in Denmark?).
So basically, what we learned from COP15 is that great expectations are not always overhyped and are coming together where one wouldn’t expect. We learned the difference between “speak good” (where politicians achieve excellency) “feel good” (kudos to organizers for the environment they created) and “do good” (well, we all need to still work at this part). But out with the old, in with the new. As COP16 organizer, Cancun’s job is hard, as it has to raise to the 100% neutral expectations set by Copenhagen and also become the historical place that the Danish capital couldn’t be - the city that seals a real deal.
Stay tuned and feel free to share your opinions, questions and comments as we write our way to Cancun.
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