Climate Conference of Madrid, Spain
Ever wondered what it is like to walk through the Blue Zone (area not open to the general public) of the COP? Check out what some of the countries have on display this year.
The United States Center, located conveniently near the entrance, is dominated with information from NOAA (the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) including the giant interactive globe pictured above. This globe represents the mission of NOAA by tracking and predicting climate change across the world. There are continuous panel discussions, presentations and speeches being given at the US Center.
The bright colors of the Mexico Center, starkly contrasts with the subdued red, white and blue of the United States Center. Their most prominent display is a large video projector allowing visitors to see themselves in some of Mexico's most beautiful natural landscapes. This helps people to relate to the natural resources of Mexico that may be lost with the progression of Climate Change.
The South Korea Center attracts visitors with a face-in-the-whole photo opportunity. Their main focus is on sustainable urban development, pointing out that 75% of global energy use is in cities. There were a lot of big name people giving presentations at the South Korea Center, including the new chair of the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change), Hoesung Lee, pictured on the bottom right and the Vice President of the Asian Development Bank, Bambang Susantono (top right fourth from the left).
The Gulf Cooperation Council
The Gulf Cooperation Council has one of the most elaborate displays, including a touch screen computer that allows you to click through their climate change plans. The Gulf Cooperation includes Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Bahrain, Oman and Qatar. All of these countries are big oil exporters (maybe it is oil money funding this elaborate set up).
Ecuador has a small, colorful area, which boasts about their forests. Their most prominent display is a banner with black handprints on it (pictured above). Ask any Ecuadorian Party member and they will explain that Ecuador is still fighting against Chevron for an oil spill that devastated the Amazon three decades ago. The Ecuador Center also contains vast information on how Ecuador plans to protect the Amazon through REDD+.
It is hard to miss the India Center, as they have a giant water feature that spells out various words including India, COP21 and Paris. Similar to the display at the Gulf Cooperation, India has a touch screen computer that allows visitors to navigate through their plans to mitigate climate change, specifically about how they plan to reduce their emissions by 33 to 25 percent by 2030 from 2005 levels.
Morocco, who will be hosting COP22 next year, has a small display entirely in red and green. They have a computer that visitors can navigate through to learn about their mitigation plans. Their display makes evident how proud the country is to be hosting COP next year.
The Nordic Cooperation
The Nordic Cooperation includes Greenland, Iceland, Denmark, Finland, Norway, Sweden, Faroe Islands and Aland. In their pavilion you can sit on seats made out of fur and tree stumps and read up on their climate solutions. Nordic Carbon Dioxide emissions are 1/5 of the global average despite having the world's 12th largest economy.
Thanks for traveling the COP with us!