After long lines for the conference registration, Renaud, Arnold, and Patricia went to the Government meeting and NGO Forum while Sister Jayanti, Julia, and Sonja went to the Religious Leaders meeting.
COP15 Government Meetings, where Brahma Kumaris have observer status.
The main government groups seem to want an agreement, however there are differing opinions as to whether it will be successful or not.
On Thursday the NGOs will submit a declaration to the Governments, but there is no mechanism for the governments to respond. There is, however a coalition of NGOs -- Climate Change Action Network (CAN)
who is very organized. They have the Press's ear as they report what is really going on. As the atmosphere at the Government conference is a little heavy, with over 10,000 people present, CAN organize a prize presentation called the Fossil of the Day – basically calling out the government/person whose position is holding up the process. It is a bit of a 'name and shame' theatrical exercise and the vibration that is created contributes to the heavy atmosphere. The Brahma Kumaris, through a proposal by Patricia, suggested that they also offer a prize Enlightenment of the Day and CAN responded that they were thinking of doing something like that and would call it the Ray of the Day.
A very small meditation space has been created at COP15 – where, as Renaud amusingly said, 'If there are more than two Muslims praying on their mats the place is packed!'
The BKs have two exhibition stands – one at COP15 and one at the NGO Forum.
At COP15 we share with the group organizing the Interfaith Declaration on Climate Change. (There were so many organizations requesting space and so in a spirit of cooperation we were asked to share.) At the NGO Forum we have a stand of our own. We have basically created the same look and feel for both spaces so that there is an easily recognizable link between both conferences. The title of the stands is Mind and Matter: Confluence of Two Living Systems. The design is simple – the background consists of an image of a world in the mind/forehead of a profile of a person with rings of power emanating from that point (soul/world). We have space for our position papers, flyers, and cards and we also have a clickable electronic information center – on a computer – with our activities at the conference, our position paper, our work with Solar Energy in India, a place where people can add a powerful thought for the world, and a database where visitors can sign up for future spiritual environmental programs in Denmark and for a spiritual environmental message to be sent each month. Over the duration of the conference both these exhibition stands are being staffed by members of our delegation and volunteers from the contacts of the BKs in Denmark. Our experience so far is, because our stand is simple and has less information it makes for easy conversations, and there seems to be a lot of interest in what we are doing. At the NGO Forum we are also next to the Green Church of Denmark's stand, which represents the environmental efforts of the Danish Church. So we seem to have created a little spiritual corner.
The NGO Forum is open to NGOs and the general public. The official opening, with speeches and music, was at 6pm. One of the speakers, famous Canadian author Naomi Klein, gave a very eloquent speech with many good points – one of which was that it is the developed world, not the developing world that is in debt – climate debt. The developing world is often spoken of in terms of debt and but in fact it is we, the developed world who owe so much to the developing world. The developed world has caused 70% of the world's emissions, and so it is the developed world that needs to pay back to the developing world. There is no question of charity.
There is a very upbeat atmosphere at the NGO forum; everyone is very engaged and wants to contribute.