Climate Change Adaptation Information Platform(A-PLAT)

COP26 at Glasgow seen by a first-year COP student

This page is a reprint of an article by the Japan Center for Climate Change Actions (JCCCA), published with permission from JCCCA.

I am a researcher specializing in climate change impacts and adaptation. You might think that I have been to many COPs, but this is not the case at all. This COP26 will be my first participation. That's right, I'm a brand-new first-year student.
To begin with, I thought that I would never go to the COP. I thought that I would never go to a COP in my life, because I thought that COPs were a place for intergovernmental negotiations and not a place for a researcher like me who does not specialize in international negotiations. The reason why I decided to go to the COP is because the Center for Climate Change Adaptation at the National Institute for Environmental Studies (NIES), to which I belong, has been developing a website called the Asia-Pacific Climate Change Adaptation Information Platform(Commonly known as AP-PLAT(1)). I didn't know about it at all. What I didn't know was that many exhibitions and side events were being held at the COP in parallel with the intergovernmental negotiations.
In this article, I would like to talk about COP26 at Glasgow from my perspective as a first year COP beginner. As for what was discussed, negotiated, and agreed upon at this COP, please refer to the other section of this site, and in this article, I hope to convey the atmosphere of COP26 at Glasgow, even if only a little.

The first venue was the Scottish Event Campus (SEC), an exhibition and trade center in Glasgow, Scotland, U.K. The SEC consists of several buildings, one of which is a large rubber-beetle-like building. The building in the back of the picture below is the SEC. This photo was taken in the morning. It's a long line of participants entering the venue. There is a security check similar to the one at the airport, so it is not surprising that there is a long line when so many people are trying to get in. In the end, it took us about an hour to get inside. Everyone was amused and took pictures of the long line.

Long line of participants entering the venue.

There are so many exhibitions, events, and seminars going on from morning to evening at the venue. I think it would take two weeks to go through them all. I guess that's why COP has two weeks. There is also a bar inside the venue. It's a great place to relax after a long day of negotiations or to celebrate the success of an event or seminar.

Bar at the venue

The SEC had a circular venue with a high ceiling, and in the center of the venue was a beautiful blue globe hanging from the ceiling, glowing. There was also a TV studio that looked like it had just jumped out of the sky, and there were large cameras conducting interviews.

Space in the SEC where the beautiful blue earth shines

The space in the SEC where interviews and other events were held.

The venue has large desks and chairs for multiple people to discuss, as well as a space for a single person to concentrate on their work. Everyone is working on something, aren't they? Free Wi-Fi was provided at the venue, and I was able to exchange emails without any problems.

Space in the venue

Personal space in the venue

The pavilion space was crowded with people coming to see the exhibitions and seminars of various countries and institutions, including Japan, being held here and there at the same time.

Pavilion Space

Pavilion Space

Many pavilion spaces lined up.

This is what the Japanese pavilion looks like. I like the Japanese design with blue as the base color. It's a two-story structure, with corporate exhibits on the first floor and seminar space on the second floor. I also held a seminar in the seminar space on the second floor. It was in a prime location, closest to the entrance of the pavilion space.
I heard that Prime Minister Kishida, who was visiting the World Leaders Summit, visited the Japan Pavilion on November 2, but I had a near miss and could not see him. It was a shame. Coffee and other beverages were provided free of charge, and I enjoyed them every day.

Japan Pavilion Space

Japan Pavilion Space

The following is a video of the seminar I gave, which was held on zoom and also streamed live on YouTube(2). Participating in the seminar in Glasgow were myself as the moderator and Linda Stevenson of the Asia-Pacific Network on Global Change (APN), who facilitated (moderated) the discussion part. Other speakers participated online from around the world, including the Netherlands, Thailand, Samoa, and Japan. There were some problems during the session, such as the mute not being released, but I think we had a generally good discussion.

I'm the one talking on the podium.

The person holding the microphone is Linda, the moderator (facilitator).

I hope I was able to convey even a little of the atmosphere of the COP. I would have liked to share with you some of the most important issues related to global warming, such as the discussions and negotiations at the COP, but I had to concentrate on the preparation and implementation of the seminar I hosted. Thanks to you, the seminar was a success, but I regret that I could not visit most of the other seminars and events. Next time, if I have the chance to go, I would like to report on the latest developments in the world regarding global warming as a COP2 student.
Last but not least, I would like to thank the Japan Center for Climate Change Actions for giving me the opportunity to write a report on their website. If you are interested in this report, please read the extra report about the city.

Director, Asia Pacific Climate Change Adaptation Laboratory, Center for Climate Change Adaptation, National Institute for Environmental Studies
Yuji Masutomi

[Click here for Extra Edition]

(1):Asia-Pacific Climate Change Adaptation Information Platform
(2): The live video will be archived and distributed on the Ministry of the Environment's YouTube channel at a later date.

(Published on November 19, 2021)

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