The journey from the Rhone Valley, where I live, to the Rhine, on which Bonn is located, has been a long excursion and perhaps not the most auspicious start to what is going to be a very busy fortnight. 3 days spent in London were an excellent warm up with a Secretariat face to face meeting in Grosvenor Gardens with 5 members of the team and Bill Turner on the webinar from Canada. I explained then what INTO would be up to at the COP and the messages it would be putting across.
A day later I chaired a preliminary meeting of some of the ‘old’ members of the ICNT panel together with the Bermuda team before we start meetings in earnest later this month. This was followed by a podcast with Bill on the topic of COP 23 which is available on the website.
I was due to leave for Bonn from Stansted airport at 7 pm on Saturday evening but the plane couldn’t fly owing to a technical fault and it was replaced by a smaller plane meaning that there were 22 too many people booked on! They then asked for volunteers to stand down (I was one!) and the deal was that we would be booked on to a flight from Heathrow at 8 am next morning and taken there that evening – free dinner, bed and breakfast in a hotel near the terminal and some financial compensation. In the event I wasn’t able to retire to bed until midnight and had to get up at 5 30 am
In the meantime I heard from Geoff that he was not going to be able to join me for the first week as planned and I also heard that the Bonn Centre where I had intended to register today (Sunday) to avoid the queues tomorrow would not be opening until Monday! I also heard whispers that the organisers had not anticipated the numbers of delegates, reportedly 25000, in terms of the amount of food required so on a positive note, I may end up losing a little weight!
This evening Keith Jones, from the NT, who was with me at COP 21 in Paris and is once again a member of the INTO delegation, and I met up for a working meal to discuss tactics and the events for the coming week.
Tomorrow it all starts in earnest with the opening up of our booth, the launch of both the UK and Fiji Pavilions, the latter with the President of the COP and Premier of Fiji and a number of side events of interest. I will keep you posted!
5 Nov 2017