Half of the Dickinson research team is into their fourth day at COP20 and we are starting to get into a bit of a groove, but in traditional COP fashion it is hectic and can shift without notice. It starts off for me with a 06:30 wake up time. I spend the next hour gathering my things, running across the street to the supermarket to grab my breakfast and lunch, and then walk to the shuttle bus to COP at 07:30. The bus rides are long, but provide a good place to meet Party delegates or other observers (that’s what we are). We also occasionally fall asleep on the busses, since they are so comfortable.
By 08:30 or 09:00 we arrive at the venue, after which we generally sit down for about an hour and talk about the coming day’s events or interviews. We then break off to either track down delegates to speak with, head to the exhibition hall to meet interesting people from all around the world, attend side-events, attend negotiation sessions, secretly slip into closed events until we are politely asked to leave, or conduct interviews. This morning I will be attending a side negotiation and text editing session on Climate Financing Mechanisms. This type of event is one where negotiators from the Parties attend and offer edits to text in the draft agreement or discuss the negotiations.
At 11:30 everyday most of the group attends the Climate Action Network (CAN) press conference in Press Room 2. This is a great 30 minute press briefing hosted by CAN, a global network of civil organizations. Three new panelists speak everyday, one is usually form Greenpeace and the other two are generally wild card NGOs. They touch on everything from negotiations around forestry to the discussions around what the “safe” warming limit is. Afterwards we grab the business cards of the three panelists, in hopes of interviewing them later.
The mornings go fast and by 12:00 we are all sweaty and exhausted, so at 12:30 we have the team meeting, eat some lunch, drink water, and rest our aching feet. Soon after we are back on the hunt for delegates or doing scheduled interviews. For instance my afternoon today involves and interview with a Professor from PSU, an NGO observer who we spoke with after a press conference, and an observer from a second NGO (CDKN) that works on knowledge brokering (post on this forthcoming).
The afternoon are also when most of the side-events occur. This afternoon I will be sitting in on one that is about promoting climate technologies. This events provide good information for our research paper, introduce new research, and are a great spot to find delegates or experts to interview about research topics. We also tend some time running around the exhibition hall doing quick interviews with those representing groups that pertain to our research.
Around 18:15 I generally head to the exit with a few others, but some of the group stays until 20:00. Once we are back in the city, we find a good dinner spot. Last night we had some Middle Eastern food, and the two nights before we enjoyed great local food at a restaurant called Mezze. After dinner, we all converge at Butler University’s abroad center. They have kindly offered it to us in the evenings as a meeting spot. Here we download the footage we shot throughout the day and discuss how the day went. Generally we are out of there by 22:30 and head back to the Flying Dog (our hostel).
For the next couple of hours I usually organize my things for the next day, take a shower, grab a bite to eat, download any more footage that wasn’t downloaded at Butler, and relax for a bit, always making it to bed by 01:00.