In less than 40 days, the COP21 international climate summit will be held at Paris-Le Bourget. This global event will bring together all the heads of state for two weeks of intensive debate that should lead to a climate agreement.
Paris is preparing to host the 21st Conference of Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change. Its goal? The signing of a binding agreement to limit global warming to 2°C by 2100, in particular through a reduction of CO2 emissions. Paris will play a facilitating role in seeking this consensus. As Laurent Fabius, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Development, emphasized, “Paris Climate 2015 should not be a meeting to ‘try’ but a meeting to ‘decide.’” In early October, eight of the ten largest CO2 emitters had already provided their contributions: China, the USA, Europe, India, Russia, Japan, South Korea and Canada.
How has this mega event been organized? The Paris-Le-Bourget site will be divided into three zones with complementary objectives. In fact, this conference, bringing together 146 countries, is one of the largest ever held on climate: 40,000 people are expected on an 18 hectare (44 acre) site, converted into a sort of pop-up city for the occasion. Functional and comfortable work areas, together with spaces for relaxation and basic services (banks, post offices, newsstands) will be present throughout the site. These will be supplemented with many restaurant areas where housemade food, French cuisine and seasonal products will be spotlighted.
The conference center. This is the nerve center of the negotiations. It will only be accessible to accredited participants and is under the responsibility of the United Nations. It is also known as the “blue zone,” and the success of COP21 will be determined within its walls. Negotiations will take place there 24 hours a day during the 2 weeks of the conference. It will consist of two large plenary rooms where negotiations will be filmed and broadcast live, a press center and 32 negotiation rooms dedicated to the development of texts, reflecting the many items on the agenda (financial issues, forests, greenhouse gases, verification measures, climate change education).
Climate Generations areas. In proximity to the conference, these spaces will be open to the public: a first in the history of the COP. Every day, the areas will be filled with debates, panel discussions and cultural exhibits in an atmosphere of friendly sharing that will showcase projects, initiatives and solutions. Open to civil society, this space will include a central stand with activities run by actors in sustainable development from the Paris Region (e.g. conferences, debates, presentation of experiments taking place in the region).
Finally, the Solutions Gallery. An extension of the World Efficiency Show and Congress (formerly Pollutec, from 13-15 October 2015 in Paris), it is an exhibition for professionals with tangible “low carbon” solutions to fight climate change. Innovative companies, economic and political actors from around the world will join forces in an area of 10,000 m2 (108,000 ft2) to promote alternative solutions that have been developed in construction, manufacturing, transport, development and operations, not to mention new organizational models and other best practices.
The festivities begin 30 November 2015 in Paris. What’s more, Paris Région Entreprises will organize, in partnership with the Solutions Gallery, free business tours for international visitors to outstanding sites in the Paris region. More information will be available soon!