COP: More than just negotiations

Defining COP is an interesting challenge. The main purpose of COP is to negotiate climate change agreements between countries. But COP is so much more than just negotiations between governments. It’s also a professional conference, a trade fair, a networking event, and an excuse to party. Alongside the official negotiations are hundreds of side events. These are discussions, presentations, protests, receptions, and parties. These side events have become an important part of the whole negotiations process. Here, delegates, NGO workers, journalists, and business people meet to exchange ideas and business cards. It’s an arena of relative informality, as opposed to the stifling formality of the negotiations. I suspect that, in many ways, this is where the real action on climate change is taking place.