Climate Conference of Madrid, Spain
Today, the UNFCCC COP 20 has begun! And it was a lot. After a long bus ride to the center, we arrived and it was crazy to see everything and everyone in action. People from all over the world, speaking all kinds of languages buzzed around through the setup of more than 7 gigantic tents. Before things got started, we explored a bit to get the lay of the land and then headed over to the opening ceremony; the first event, where the new COP president spoke.
I headed out from the opening session a bit early because there were other things I wanted to see. Also due to an almost nonexistent air conditioning system, which left a lot of people pretty cranky. Hopefully they do something about that for tomorrow!
One of the most amazing about the COP was the country Pavilions. So far only the US, Peru, Indonesia and the European Union had anything, but it was pretty impressive. Peru had an amazing setup where they displayed products grown and produced in the country, and had some amazing coffee too. Indonesia had an opening ceremony with traditional dancers and the Indonesian ambassador kick things off. The US center had a “hyperwall,” which had great displays and presentations.
My favorite talk to day was a NASA talk about global climate observations with the use of satellites and other technologies to track changes and their efforts to combine data from different organizations to get the best data they can get. The talk was a bit technical, and I won’t go into all the gritty details, but one idea I took away was really interesting. During the question and answer session the speakers were talking about how it would be helpful to combine and integrate seemingly unrelated data to show overarching trends. For example, it could be telling to compare trends in diseases to trends in CO2 in the atmosphere.
That’s one thing I took away today. All these things tie together and should be looked at as a whole.
Now to figure out what to see tomorrow..