A Day at COP26 - Day 4

We headed straight for the blue zone this morning and encountered the much talked about security lines we had so far missed through fortunate timing. As someone pointed out to me, it is a little strange that no social distancing whatever is enforced here whereas the negotiation rooms are strictly regulated (keeping out any NGO observers/youth engagement).

Our plan this week, in order to serve our purpose of writing a report on youth engagement in the COP process, has become to walk around the blue zone and start conversations. Today we came across a variety of NGOs and most excitingly German youth activist Luisa Neubauer.

Hanging out at the UK Pavilion has also served as a great option for meeting interesting people (and rinsing the government for free tea). Exploration of the other pavilions yielded many more interesting conversations and an event on innovation in the energy system at the UN Innovation Hub.

I returned to the Action Zone, the central area with a floating globe and lots of yellow IKEA chairs, to meet activists I had worked with many times virtually but had yet to meet in person. We discussed the many frustrations of trying to learn how exactly a COP worked, even when talking to people who supposedly knew.

We ended the day in the UK pavilion drinking their free wine and playing Climate top trumps with the bar staff. A suitable conclusion to another surreal day in the COP bubble.