The Copenhagan Climate Summit has been an intense event, with emotions running high. Massive global get-togethers have a tendency to bring out both the best and the worst in people.
Thankfully, this important experience has experienced more highs than lows, and we’re here to show you some of the most beautiful and profound.
(Photo by : America.gov)
An ice polar bear was erected close to the action by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF).
With a copper skeleton, the sculpture symbolically loses mass throughout the conference, visually calling attention to the loss of icebergs and the likely doom of flesh and blood polar bears in our northern regions.
To say nothing of the other environmental consequences (rising sea levels, more extreme weather patterns) to come as more ice turns to water.
(Photo by:Greenpeace International )
“I’m Sorry. We could have stopped catastrophic climate change… we didn’t” billboards were put up throughout many of the airport terminals in Copenhagen, setting people’s minds to the future with thoughts of regret if nothing is done.
Obama and many other leaders were depicted older and serious in these ads.
(Photo by:thousand.wor(l)ds )
As with any large-scale international debate, there have been a good number of protests at COP15, and with them arrests. Though the violence has been relatively little compared with other events of this kind, there have been some images like this.
Most protests have been peaceful and attended primarily by moderate groups rather than extremists.
(Photo by: Greenpeace International )
The Global Day of Action in Copenhagen coincided with the talks and attracted more than 100,000 protesters in support of strong, binding agreements that will lower our production of greenhouse gas emissions.
“Planet not profit” and “There is no Planet B” were common slogans held by activists.
(Photo by: Jasonwhat )
In addition to large crowds, many small demonstrations took place throughout the region as people tried to speak up about their desire to see some real action come out of these international talks.
Here, Mohamed Shinaz an Oxfam activist from the Maldives—the country likely to disappear first as a result of global warming water rises—waits in a tank as water fills to illustrate that he and the rest of his 360,000 fellow citizens will lose their homes if something is not done.
(Photo by: 350 Copenhagen )
The number 350 popped up frequently at the talks as another symbol for where we need to be to really stop climate change.
350 is the parts per million (ppm) is the level at which we must reduce our carbon dioxide levels in order to avoid catastrophic environmental damage (we’re already nearly at 400 ppm!).
The organization 350.org is strongly lobbying heavy to have 350 appear somewhere in the final COP15 text.
(Photo by: 350.org )
Actions took place around the world during the talks. This particular Tasmania, Australia demonstration, called “Losing Tasmania: A Procession of Precious Things” aimed to get people to reflect on what they would lose if climate change is not stopped.
Many faith-based vigils—some of which were interfaith in nature—took place as religious leaders spoke out about the injustices of climate change and the need for universal compassion for our fellow humans and for the planet.