International Climate Change Conference: Final Dispatch from Copenhagen

By Jennifer Donovan | Published

Demonstrators outside  in Copenhagen, where the international climate change conference is taking place.
Demonstrators outside in Copenhagen, where the international climate change conference is taking place.

Michigan Tech graduate student Adam Airoldi and undergraduate Cate Cogger visited Copenhagen, Denmark, during the UN’s international climate change conference. Here is their third and final report.

“ Our last day in Copenhagen was devoted to finding the Bella Center. The Bella Center is located approximately 10 kilometers from the Copenhagen Centrum, and is the main conference center of the Copenhagen climate change conference. Here diplomats, world leaders and journalists convene daily to discuss the bevy of issues confronting the global community in relation to climate change, social justice worldwide, and the global market crisis and its pertinence to climatic changes.

“Upon finding the Bella Center, we were a bit disappointed by the facilities. Having expected a site a bit more grandiose, we found the Bella Center to be a large complex of modern style buildings located in the "Green Living" sector of Copenhagen. Adjacent to the Bella Center was an apartment complex with the same futuristic look to it; many of the apartments were adorned with banners and placards urging political leaders to take significant and swift action. Although it was Sunday, we did see a variety of journalists entering the center as the talks inside continued.

“Being in Copenhagen was certainly an experience that we will remember for a lifetime. We witnessed a variety of different viewpoints concerning climate change, ranging from indigenous perspectives to polar explorers presenting scientific data.

“The general feel in Copenhagen is perhaps less pessimistic than much of the rest of the globe. We have heard from many people not in Copenhagen that they are not hopeful that much will develop out of this conference. Many are doubtful that any concrete resolutions will be reached about the direction the global community should take to mitigate the effects of global warming. In Copenhagen, however, the demonstrations and vigilant hopefulness continues on.

“It is certainly difficult to say what the outcome of these talks will be. The main change, I think, may stem from those who were in Copenhagen to simply show support to the cause of curbing global warming. It is uncertain whether or not worldwide policy will develop to slow global warming, but it seems as though those citizens in Copenhagen will bring home a message of conservation, energy efficiency and personal responsibility to their communities, wherever they may be in the world.”

Michigan Technological University is a public research university, home to more than 7,000 students from 54 countries. Founded in 1885, the University offers more than 120 undergraduate and graduate degree programs in science and technology, engineering, forestry, business and economics, health professions, humanities, mathematics, and social sciences. Our campus in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula overlooks the Keweenaw Waterway and is just a few miles from Lake Superior.