In December 2018, thousands of world leaders, scientists, activists, representatives of the private sector, as well as local community members gathered in Katowice, Poland, to come up with a plan to fight climate change and its effects. EJR-Quartz’s Nicole Shearer and Mario Morellon had the opportunity to join them on behalf of the European Union’s Copernicus programme.
The annual United Nations Conference of Parties (COP) is the world’s largest climate change conference. In 1992 the United Nations organised an Earth Summit, through which the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change was adopted – a treaty in which nations agree to stabilise greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere. Since the treaty came into force in 1994, an annual COP has been organised to discuss the status of the climate and plan how to move forward. Last year’s was the 24th COP, or COP24.
One of the most important tasks of COP24 was to work out a set of guidelines to ensure the full implementation of the Paris agreement, which was adopted three years ago at COP21. The agreement aims to “keep global temperature rise this century well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels and to pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase even further to 1.5°C”.
Nicole and Mario attended COP24 on behalf of the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF). ECMWF implements two of the EU’s Copernicus programme services – the Climate Change Service and the Atmosphere Monitoring Service. EJR-Quartz is responsible for raising awareness of these two services via a variety of communication and outreach activities, including writing web articles, running social media channels and helping with events.
On the second Monday of COP24, a joint event between ECMWF and the European Commission presented the global reach of the Copernicus Climate Change Service and provided insight into how data produced by the Service are used to benefit people from around the world. EJR-Quartz’s Linda Carrette played a vital role in organising the event, creating the programme as well as communicating with all speakers and organising eye-catching visuals.
Travelling early in the morning from Krakow, Nicole and Mario negotiated the strict security and registration process before setting up the room where the event was to take place. Together, they arranged the technical equipment – including cameras and microphones, prepared the presenters, and raised excitement for the event via social media. Mario took care of live-streaming the event, which can still be watched here. Nicole live-tweeted throughout, took photos and kept Instagram updated.
After the event, the two had the opportunity to explore COP24 – with 30,000 people taking part in the conference, the venue was almost overwhelmingly huge! Extremely impressed by the exhibits on display from different countries, they were delighted to be surrounded by so many people dedicated to tackling climate change.