Thursday, December 2, 2010

Cancun is not Copenhagen

I landed in Cancun this afternoon for the COP16 meetings. And I couldn't help but spend the rest of the day comparing Cancun to Copenhagen. In Copenhagen we felt like rock stars. Every service person along the way from the airports to the restaurants were cheering us on. When people heard we were going to Copenhagen, they'd congratulated us and encouraged us in the fight against climate change.

The trip to Cancun was unremarkable. No-one really noticed us. On the way to Copenhagen, conference goers took over entire air planes. Boarding gate talk was of climate change and national policy. On the way to Cancun, we were overshadowed by wedding parties, and groups of partying university students.

Tomorrow morning I will head into the conference site to be registered, join in the events and observe the negotiations. My colleagues tell me I will be impressed by the organization and efficiency of the on-site logistics. I am looking forward to making more comparisons between the disparate host cities. And I am hoping against hope that the outcome of this COP will be entirely different from last year's, so that I can truly say, in a more meaningful way that Cancun is not Copenhagen.

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