Conference of the Par-TAYs

Some of the most productive events we attended were actually social events.

For instance, I made some great contacts at the NGO party hosted at Tuba Klub on Saturday December 6. Imagine all the non-profit organizations working on global warming and sustainable development – Greenpeace, World Business Council for Sustainable Development, 350.org, Conservation International – all on one dance floor. Fascinating! Not only did I meet a student at Oxford studying climate change adaptation in the tourism sector, my exact paper topic for Professor Bailis’s class this fall, but I also bumped into a veritable climate celeb – the man himself, Executive Secretariat of the Conference of the Parties, Yvo de Boer! He was very approachable, and answered a few questions I posed. I told him I was a student observer here at the COP to learn, and he said he was there to learn, too! For instance, he said he’s learning to ask people who propose to add new complexities to this already complex process, “Why?”

It was nice talk with a lot of the NGO observers about the conference off the record and hear how they really felt it was going. I wonder how much progress is made over food and drinks, rather than during the plenaries?