I am only a few hours away from arriving in Copenhagen, sitting in the terminal waiting to get on the plane, I am reminded of a news article I read a few days ago about “green” operations that have been set in place for the conference. The organizers are using several sustainable practices and environmentally friendly services/products in order to offset the COP’s overall carbon footprint. The article relayed that the largest contributor to the footprint will be the emissions coming from all the attendee’s plane travel to Denmark.
Some of the sustainable actions Copenhagen and the Bella Conference center have taken are:
- A gigantic wind turbine that provides power. 29.6 % of Denmark’s electricity comes from renewable energy, 20.1 % from wind turbines.
- Waste management, including paper, plastic, metal, wood, and glass recycling. Organic waste, including bioplast cups will be made into biogas. Also, all remaining waste will be burned and transformed into energy which supplies electricity and heating to households there.
- Free water, no bottled water but a lot of glassware and all the disposable materials like plastic glasses and coffee cups are made of organic biodegradable material, which can be placed in the biodegradable waste baskets that is made into biogas.
- Laptops chosen for the energy saving over conventional PCs and consume less energy than a normal laptop of the same size.
- The paper being used is eco-certified.
- the pens the center is offering are produced from 89% recycled plastic from water bottles.
- The notepads being provided are 100% recycled paper and “Process Chlorine Free”.
- The food sold is a minimum of 65% organic food and beverages include fair-trade products such as coffee and tea.
Its the first day of the conference, and as I have not posted the entry from a few days ago due to awful internet connections in the airport and hostel, I decided to add some other notes on what was said during the opening ceremonies (most of which can also be found on cop15.dk, which i realized after the fact)
While we were waiting for the opening ceremony to start (about 40 minutes late) a lady sitting beside us started talking about the sustainability of the COP. She works for COP or the center, she was a scientist but her job here is to let people know about how we can follow along with the sustainable practices here.
In the prime minister or Denmark’s opening speech, he noted that the COP is not having bottled water and that the COP has tried hard to reduce its’ carbon footprint. He said that these measures are serving as inspiration to the attendees to follow the “green” examples.
The Mayor of Copenhagen in her opening speech noted that Copenhagen has a goal of being the 1st carbon neutral city by 2025. Also saying that Copenhagen has several sustainable practices already in place, including how they heat their households with renewable resources, most of the city bikes (they are everywhere), and the harbor is clean enough to swim in.
Just being here for 2 days, I can already tell what contributed to the COP deciding to have this city host the conference, the people here live a highly “green” lifestyle which is easy to do when the city has implemented the practices into their daily life. Copenhagen will certainly serve as an realistic example for the rest of the world to follow, and it seems like it might have been chosen because it can provide inspiration to the decision-makers to come to concrete decisions by the end of these two weeks.