COP15 Officially Opens

The Bella Center in Copenhagen this morning was buzzing with activity.  By 2pm, the line to get in and register was over 2 hours long.  People from around the world have convened for COP15 and are ready for a fair, ambitious and binding climate treaty.

Matt and I arrived at the Bella Center this morning at 8am, and watched as more than 2,000 delegates from around the world gathered for the COP15 Cultural Opening Ceremony, to kick off the negotiations.  After an inspirational short opening film, the delegates and observers were welcomed by the Prime Minister of Denmark, the Mayor of Copenhagen, and Rajendra Pachauri, chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

After getting our bearings in the Bella Center, we headed back to downtown Copenhagen to catch some of the side events.  Outside of the negotiations themselves in the Bella Center, the city is packed with meetings, lectures, film screenings and networking events.  I checked out the CO2 cube where the Young Voices on Climate Change films will be screened this week.  It was a beautiful work of art and science.

To top off the day, we also caught the opening of KlimaForum 09, where Naomi Klein, a Canadian economist and environmentalist spoke.  There’s no doubt that this week will be an exciting and exhausting one – so much time, people power and energy has been put into this two-week conference, with high hopes of a robust outcome.  Be sure you’re keeping track of this historic event – and stay tuned for more updates in the days to come!