This article is written by Zacharie Ter-Minassian.
Having always followed the UNFCCC negotiations from afar, entering the charmingly impersonal steel and glass conference center was something of a nightmare come true. Although acquainted for a few years now with the negotiation process, I am still by and large a novice to the physical interactions which occur under –as is customary to say – the “auspices” of the Convention.
Delegates stroll around, grab hasty coffees, pause, vaulted over tables, busying themselves over highlighted strands of paper which are called upon to – one day perhaps – govern the atmospheric concentrations of heat trapping gases that imperil our species’ future. Interns hurry with notes passed around in corridors, while under the tall ceiling stiletto heels clatter alongside the incessant chatter of the climate intelligentsia, reunited with the usual suspects and their best enemies of the negotiations.