University Post
University of Copenhagen
Independent of management


Down and out at the alternative climate conference

Packing up for the evening, the University Post looked disapprovingly at the paper chucked around

I came at 9 pm., the time when guests are starting to leave. Except for the volunteers standing in the hallway. They are not, if truth must be told, doing anything.

»This is a good sign, it means that things are going well if we are OVERFLØDIG – if we are ‘redundant’,« Emil says.

The 22-year-old Swede has just arrived, and he is only here in Copenhagen for the Klimaforum.

Come to the demo

Klimaforum09 is the COP15 of the people, and people from all over the world are volunteering or participating in events that run in parallel to the COP15 Conference. Even climate-volunteers need a boss. This one is Raul, a 22-year-old exchange student at CBS whose home university is in Japan.

»You should come on Saturday to the demonstration, there is going to be so many people there, he encourages me,« meaning the march from Christiansborg to Bella Center.

People’s lobby

»People from all over the world are here to make a difference. They are here in Klimaforum to tell the politicians to do something,« Emil says.

Anna Marie, an exchange student from Lund University in Sweden, is next to him.

»The night shifts are the quietest,« she tells me..

At Klimaforum, you meet other climate organisations, groups and individuals; this is where you you’re your lobbying strategy.

Watch out for the Lout Laws

None of my volunteers are otherwise politically active.

»But I have joined this Red Agent group. I will be dressed up as James Bond to demonstrate against developing countries’ debt,« Raul laughs.

I mention the new law, the Danish ‘Lømmelpakken’ the just-passed ‘Lout Acts’, restricting demonstrations and arresting demonstrators. Emil knows the new rules but has no intention of getting into the hands of the police.

»Well, I have read about all that, but I am not throwing any stones, and I am hitting no cars. I do not think I will get arrested,« he says.

Fell the trees to save the climate

Inside the DGI-byen, where the Klimaforum is, it is legal and non-violent. There is everything from formal presentations and speeches to pop concerts and films.

On the floor there is a ridiculous amount of paper spread out and chucked around, not very environmental friendly, I say silently with a disapproving look.

»This is not solely from the Klimaforum. It is all kinds of flyers and magazines from different places. I guess they are saving the world by using paper,« Emil jokes.