Just arrived in Poznan? Let me show you around…

Take a walk with me through the streets and corridors of the United Nations Climate Change Conference here in chilly Poznan, Poland.

We at Environmental Defense Fund are encamped in a small cubicle in one of the main halls, sandwiched between the tiny office of Belgium and the massive, windowless bunker labeled DELEGATION OF THE UNITED STATES. “Authorized personnel only” warn the signs on most doors. You can also spot the home base of the USA by all the serious guys in somber suits standing around with plastic earphones.

Outside our building is a busy intersection of indoor streets complete with sidewalk café tables where convention- goers can linger over their laptops and a grassy median strip where participants can lounge with their laptops beneath leafless trees. Hardly anyone here goes laptopless.

The streets are lined with kiosks, each offering up free pamphlets or occasional invitations to cocktail receptions. You can shop the brochures of the Global Wind Energy Council and the Energy Research Centre of the Netherlands, or you can go on a world tour of national booths from Japan to France to the United States.

Over to the left is “Interview Corner,” the spot for news media stakeouts, stand-up shots and interviews.
So how does this massive convention work?

Each morning, the U.N. issues the official Daily Program. For today, there are 26 pages of meetings and events. Most have very scintillating names like, “Ad Hoc Working Group on Long-term Cooperative Action under the Convention (AWG-LCA) .”

Or how about the “Joint contact group on matters relating to Article 2, paragraph 3, and Article 3, paragraph 14, of the Kyoto Protocol? ” It meets in the Seal Room.

Every meeting room is named for some type of wild critter: Spider, European Bison, Apollo Butterfly Aesculapian Snake, Buzzard.

As you might guess, acronyms are extremely popular with the world climate change set. Just take a look at the meetings of observer organizations.

You have BINGOs, RINGOs, YENGOs, ENGOs, and TUNGOs.

BINGOS–Business and industry organizations.
RINGOS–Research and independent organizations.
YENGOS– Youth organizations.
ENGOS– Environmental groups.
TUNGOS–Trade union NGOS (non-governmental organizations). Yes, even the acronyms have acronyms.
EDF is an ENGO.

The EDF SWAT team of specialists meets each morning to divide up the meetings, making an effort to cover all the sessions that involve issues high on the EDF agenda. This week most of the sessions are preliminary meetings that are open.

Next week, when the real juicy stuff starts happening, the meetings will be closed and ENGOS, BINGOs, RINGOs and all the others will be scrambling to gather intelligence on what is happening behind closed doors with the delegates.

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