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Coping in Copenhagen

By Juliet Eilperin

The United Nations-sponsored climate meeting starting Monday may be too popular for its own good.

It all comes down to numbers: Copenhagen's Bella Center, the venue of the talks, has a maximum capacity of 15,000. According to a notice issued Sunday by the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change, "more than double that number - 34,000 - have asked to physically attend the meeting."


So the organizers have resorted to a quota system for the many non-governmental groups attending the conference, where "a prearranged percentage of each organistation's representatives will be allowed access to the building during peak times." Anxious environmental types can seek more information here.

Journalists don't get a free ride either, since the organizers have already granted press credentials to the maximum number of journalists who will be allowed access to the Bella Center, which happens to be 3500. On Wednesday, the notice said, "the situation will be reassessed," and if they decide to hand out any credentials, they'll do it then.

Leslie Aun, a spokeswoman for WWF-US, describes the scene this way:

Lines to pick up badges and. security spilling out the door and down the wooden boardwalk that surrounds the Bella Center. Lockdown for about two hours today in early afternoon because of "security issue" that turned out to be a bomb scare. Restaurants increasingly packed and the most dreaded word heard by anyone is "I am sorry but we don't have a record of your reservation" from hotel clerks. Temps in the low 40s, sun starts to set by 3:30 each day.

And a minute later, she's got this to add:

"It's just started raining."


Juliet Eilperin

 |  December 7, 2009; 5:00 AM ET Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
Previous: For Obama in Copenhagen, not exactly a welcome wagon | Next: Contrarians at the climate-gate


Please report offensive comments below.

The conference is bound to be a success, not because of any specific agreements but because a lot of people from a lot of places will all learn something important about each other, about the emissioins problems worldwide, and about attitudes and possibilities for the future and what will be required to make significant changes.

Posted by: jeangerard1 | December 7, 2009 1:05 PM
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