As talks continued inside the Bella Center on Saturday, thousands of people poured into Copenhagen to express their support for a climate goal of 350 ppm (1 degree global temperature rise). The ambitious target was officially submitted as part of a draft treaty by AOSIS on Friday, giving the estimated 60,000+ in attendance a reason for celebrating and marching.
The biggest surprise guest of the day was the Sun, which appeared after weeks of dark grey skies providing some welcomed global warming and energizing the crowd as they marched from Parliament square all the way to the Bella Center.
I've been at quite a few big marches in my day and this was definitely one of the most beautiful and inspiring mostly because it was a march FOR something, not against something. Yes there were the black clad anarchists who ended up later in the day causing a big ruckus (close to 1,000 people were arrested!) but for the most part it was a cross section of the entire planet, people from every nation and every age bracket walking, singing and even dancing together in wishful anticipation that a real, binding deal will take place next week at COP15.
Here are some photos taken by my friend Justin Winters — I shot a bunch of video and will post that up later tomorrow:
The morning started off with Bright Green, and energy and renewable technology expo where some of the largest energy companies in the world proudly displayed their technological know-how. Scandinavian royalty made a big appearance at the event — the Crown Prince and Princess of Denmark, The Crown Prince of Norway, and the Crown Princess of Sweden.
Following the march, we dashed home to change into formal attire, and headed off to the Kronborg Castle (of Hamlet fame) for an event called "To be or not to be: New leadership for a sustainable economy" in which dozens of the world's top CEO's had a show-and-tell about their latest sustainability initiatives. You can read the whole the thing on Marc Gunther's blog.
We got shooed away from the fancy dinner so we headed back to where they real party was — the NGO blast-off at a giant disco rented out for the thousands of young activists, policymakers, and nonprofit leaders converged to dance their eco-friendly booties off. The contrast between the two events couldn't have been more dramatic.
Four distinct groups of people. Four very different events — an energy expo, a black tie CEO dinner, a huge march and a crazy NGO party. One thing is clear ... an entire cross-section of humanity has converged in Copenhagen to claim their spot in the new post-carbon universe.