So today started out with a bang. Awoken at 8:15 I cursed a bit at the prospect of getting ready in 15 minutes. After eating a piece of cheese and hurrying to the tram station we arrived at the Targi Conference Center only slightly frazzled. The first order of business was the opening of the session for the COP which we somehow managed to find seats for. We were in the Stork Plenary room where, somewhat ironically, a large image of a stork was flying over the UN Conference on Climate Change sign. Never have I been in the company of such distinguished individuals and who knows if I ever will be again. The prime ministers of both Denmark and Poland spoke, in addition to the nobel-prize-winning head of the IPCC. His Excellancy Mr. Anders Fogh Rasmussen, the prime minister of Denmark, was the most impressive speaker. He gave an eloquent speech highlighting the green, economic, and political necessity of action toward mitigating climate change.
I was glad to hear many of the speakers highlighting the fact that the economic crisis should not effect governmental action toward climate change. Greening the economy could in fact improve our economic situation and I'm glad to see that these powerful people realize this.
Poznan has a lot more to offer than I anticipated. Complete with cathedrals, a historic town square, castles, resturants and bars, the city seems to be as much a tourist destination as a business and conference hub. Although the mayor of Poznan spoke of the hospitality of the people of the city I have not found this to be true thus far. After being refused service at a local restaurant, which ironically had American paraphernalia adorning the walls, I was a bit disappointed in our reception. Certainly the opinion of Americans abroad is a bad one, but being stared at and laughed at is uncomfortable regardless of nationality. I think from now on I will be Christine the Canadian.
I tried to attend a side event about adaptation to climate change in Africa, but unfortunately the presenters didn't show. This afternoon many of us are looking forward to attending a side event titled "Gender Justice in Climate Change Policy." This evening we will be attending a reception held by the Polish Minister of Environment who is also serving as president of the conference.
Until Next Time