Monday, November 30, 2009

Getting Ready for Copenhagen

Besides the mundane activities of getting prepared to travel overseas (packing, passport, paperwork), there is the exercise of wrestling with massive amounts of information flowing from every possible source of information I know. Parceling out my time to what is important is becoming more difficult every day.

In spite of the swirl of politics surrounding national leaders as they jockey for position at the negotiating table, the focus for me as a carbon consultant is to cut through the spin and connect with other professionals and clients who will be attending the mega-climate event. Over the past few years, the COP meetings (Conference of Parties) have grown beyond the climate negotiations among national governments. These meetings have become a hub for policymakers at every government level (subnational, provincial, cities), for scientists, for non-governmental organizations, development agencies, financial institutions, utilities, green tech firms, and carbon industry professionals like me. We go to connect with our clients who are producing sustainability projects, to connect with potential funders, to learn about the latest industry developments, and to network with like-minded folk.

One of the most colourful components of the COP meetings is the Side Events. At Side Events, observer organizations and governments host promo pieces, forums, and roundtables on topics ranging from the cerebral to the practical to the controversial, and everything in between. The Side Events have become an integral part of the climate meetings, a place to meet, to discuss and to learn.

Click here for a taste of the menu I can't wait to sample when I land in fair Copenhagen next month and learn more about the Side Events at COP-15.

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