Day one in Denmark proved to be a success, as the delegation had no problem fighting through the six-hour time difference from the Eastern time zone and little sleep on the planes. NLC was on the ground and right at work on Sunday.
Following different arrival times, the group met up at an afternoon briefing in downtown Copenhagen, organized by our friends at ICLEI-USA. Multiple climate scientists delivered the latest background on the mitigation and adaptation situations in the U.S., the E.U., and globally. And the U.S. State Department was present to provide a status report on the negotiations and answer plenty of questions. There’s lots of hope that by the end of the week there will be a solid political deal that will lead directly to a binding agreement in 2010. But as difficult as the international situation already was coming into COP-15, the task has only increased with the introduction of a host of new issues and the damaging leak of a draft working paper. In the meantime, State assured those at the briefing that the message concerning the importance of local and state governments has been taken to heart by the U.S. delegation.
Tomorrow we head to the official site of the U.N. meeting, the Bella Center. While we’re looking forward to the day, we’ve also been warned about the length of the lines to pick-up credentials to enter the building, despite everyone having pre-registered. One person we met today said she waited — mostly outside — for five hours.