Hitchhiking to Copenhagen


On Sunday the 6th of December, GreenEUR started the 818 kilometers to Copenhagen. Dennis Iseger, Irene Oosting, Rishi Jhagroe, Cosmin Buteica, and Delyana Stoeva departed from Rotterdam and travelled to Meppel by train.

First, we wanted to hitchhike to Meppel, but due to the bad weather and traffic jams, we decided to take the train. We agreed with van der Sluis Transport to take a couple of students by truck to Copenhagen. So at 9 pm, 5 trucks were waiting to pick us up in Meppel (or actually de Wijk; a small town next to Meppel).

We didn´t know what to expect, but the drivers were really well informed by van der Sluis Transport, and were enthusiastic and willing to take us with them. After making some pictures, we finally left de Wijk in a caravan of 7 trucks.

Passing Bremen, Hamburg and Lübeck, we reached the ferry from Puttgarden to Rödbyhavn (Denmark) around 4 am. At 7 am, we arrived in the temporary spotlight of the world; Copenhagen. Of course we had to thank the drivers, so we gave them a nice bottle of whiskey and helped them with unloading their trucks. According to the smiles on their faces, I think they appreciated our company (or maybe they just like liquor).

Today, everybody was really tired and most of us took a small nap in our cabin of Ship 15. The ship is temporarely used a an hotel in order to extend the availability of accomodation during the Climate Conference, and is located next to the centre of Copenhagen.

What we are gonna do tonight is exploring the city, and trying to access the Rainbow Warrior; Greenpeace it’s most well-known ship. This ship is located next to ours, and volunteers are already working hard to prepare for the demonstrations during the conference. Furthermore, we are trying to interview some of these volunteers.

We are really excited being here in Copenhagen during the summit, and hope to raise your attention by writing this blog. We will post a new blog every day!!

Dennis Iseger 

Third day: things are starting up


It is our third day in Copenhagen and things are just starting to develop up here. More and more people are flooding the town and the atmosphere is amazing. Yesterday we went to the Bella Center to check out what was happening there and as you can imagine there were demonstrations by various groups and we took an interview with a vegans activist group and some people who had accreditation to the center.

There are many cultural events organized by the city of Copenhagen: Exhibitions, artist performing throughout the city, idle time is not an option over here. You can easily distinguish the participants from the locals, since they are all proudly wearing their accreditation tags and walking around with an incredible sense of purpose in their eyes. Who would not be considering the importance of this event.

And yet, all the panel discussions we went to are pretty much repeating the usual stories, and badmouthing the ‘’usual suspects’’. We have all heard this before, like a song played too many times, and since it takes ‘’two to tango’’ ,the questions is : When do we start the dance? I guess we will find out next week when the final and most important negotiations start.

Dennis Iseger

Greenpeace unveils a secret activity


Copenhagen is getting more lively by the day. NGO´s are using the conference to show themselves to the public. Amidst all these promotional activities, the most well-known ‘’Green’’ organization- Greenpeace- is not flexing its muscles yet. Greenpeace cleverly holding its trump-cards close to its chest. The Arctic Warrior and Beluga II are present and anyone trying to approach these vessels, waiting for some fireworks will be left disappointed.

Of course, GreenEUR does not buy this act and ventured to find out what Greenpeace is really up to. After some cunning persuasion we were able to board the Arctic Warrior as the only ones who were not involved in the Greenpeace activities. During the onboard tour of the Arctic Sunrise, Greenpeace unveiled their deepest secrets and inspired the amazed GreenEUR members.

What it comes down to, is this: Greenpeace will place a 20-meter high banner on the Beluga II, which will be visible to all incoming flights at Copenhagen ‘Lufthavnen’. The vessels are bound to sail out in the weekend, when activism in Copenhagen will really be heating up. Greenpeace is expecting TV-crews from all over the world to show that world climate change is a serious issue. In addition, the infamous Rainbow Warrior is bound to enter Copenhagen harbor this Thursday and expand on its legacy. Also, our tour companions, the so-called Greenpeace volunteers visiting the Arctic Sunrise, were actual rallied activist who will themselves in the days to come.

The biggest and most well known NGO didn’t disappoint this day. In the city center the WWF put up a so called ‘arctic tent’ and managed to enthusiast and inform the biggest crowd I have seen so far. The relevancy of the Climate Conference became apparent with the presence of the stories of Inuit tribe members. Elder members told stories about the past and present climate conditions which made the present situation and upcoming disaster in the arctic very real. The beauty of the Inuit culture was further illustrated by an artist group going by the name of ‘Artcirq’. This group consisted of some playful and enthusiast acrobats and was led by a beautiful singer with a mesmerizing voice. Regretfully I couldn’t get her name, but the undeniable talent and charm of the Inuit girl left the hundreds in attendance awestruck. I think I fell in love that evening.

The local approach to the climate change has been a quite remarkable phenomenon in Copenhagen so far. We have encountered this type of positive activism before and quite profoundly at the conference halls at the Bella Center with African role-playing and friendly veggies. People seem to be more accessible and discussions seemed to be triggered more easily this way. NGO’s are actively seeking out each other in Copenhagen and ‘partnership’ is the organizational keyword on the streets these days and networking in this atmosphere seems to be a natural process as you go with the flow.

The low profile NGOs are also actively showing themselves and show how ambitious the new generation of activists really is. The LaRouce movement for instance is a very ambitious institute which made me drastically rethink my own ideas on the future of planet earth. If you are interested in a new revolutionary idea of division and connectivity of the planet based upon a real political, economical and social equilibrium, you should visit www.laroucepac.com.

As a final remark, it is interesting to see how many parties are concerned about the summit, although their motives are different. All these parties are hopefully going to influence the decisions the world leaders are going to make, and GreenEUR is part of it.

Rishi Jhagroe

The sustainable priest


Faith is a beautiful thing to have….

What does God have to do with climate change? If you are religious you probably already figured out the answer to that question. Me myself, I had no idea how to link God to climate change until I visited the local Anglican Church in Copenhagen. It’s worth the visit for everyone as this Church is located at the central peaceful Churchillparken directly next to the little mermaid statue and is the only Anglican Church in Denmark. Once entering the Church my question marks on religious climate activism were actually erased by a pretty straightforward happening. We saw a group of people praying in front of this huge world map and a lighted candle…oh.

The scenery actually got a lot more interesting as we from GreenEUR met a ‘sustainable priest’ from England. Now I can hear you think, what does a sustainable priest actually do? Well, he preaches in a Church with solar panels on the rooftop and goes to work by bike! I really had no reason to doubt this man’s credibility, but if I had any doubts he would have blown me away with his story about the community he lives in. He actually lives in a community that manages to grow their own crops to sustain the veggie needs 7 months a year, with collected rainwater! That’s actually quite impressive one would say. I haven’t met a priest like that in Holland, yet…. 

The priest laid aside his Green Bible for a moment and decided he would give us a nice interview to enlighten us and by now he had our full attention. He explained that people are affected by climate change every day, and look for support as their livelihood is in danger by failing crops due to climate change. Or what about the danger of floods or hurricanes destroying your home and threatening your loved ones? Climate change may be a more personal issue than most religious and non-religious people would think.

As we were denied to the official United Nations Climate Conference, we had to find an alternative. Enter Klimaforum09! Klimaforum09 does not portrait itself as an NGO with special causes, interests or agendas. Instead, KlimaForum09 organizes a huge event where concerned citizens from all around the world drop their opinion, including scientists, grassroots activists, academics, writers and artists. Ten thousand daily visitors and participants from over 100 countries joined this event and it is seen as the actual counterpart of the official United Nations conference in the Bella Center.

The main conference introduced us to passionate speakers from Bolivia, South-Africa, New Zealand and France. It was pretty hard to stay positive after hearing angry Africans and South Americans screaming through microphones about how the developed so called ‘northern countries’ are bound to use the current climate issue as a tool to further raise the debts and barriers the poorer ‘southern countries’ already face. The message coming from the speakers at this conference seemed quite clear and made some sense and I applauded loudly for some of these people. However, dealing with this negativity after all the positive energy so far seemed a bit off. Where was the positive approach we faced from our fellow NGOs?

Fortunately, when entering another conference hall it was a group of Cuban filmmakers who managed to revive my spirit. These guys made a documentary-slash-case video with the title: “How Cuba Survived the Oil Crisis – Peak Oil”. It portrayed how peak oil price crises provided different challenges to the Cubans and how they managed to deal with food shortages by collectively growing own biological vegetables and fruit. Accesses were sold and the social interaction strengthened the local community bonds.

Hmm, isn’t this like the same communal farming our sustainable priest with the Green Bible was involved in? Faith and inspiration apparently go hand in hand, and I think that may be the main answer to the question I started off with.

Jishi Jhagroe

Emotions and persuading the general public


World leaders are playing roulette with our climate.

Dear blog… I’ve got to tell you the truth. COP 15 is the most important conference of this age. The current generation is responsible for the lives on earth today. We need to act now and stop talking. People need to walk their talk.

Today we tried to enter the United Nations Climate Conference. Unfortunately this was impossible for people who did not have an accreditation. We told the UN staff that we are from GreenEUR but after waiting two hours we decided to join the Greenpeace van and demonstration veggies. Tak tak..just kidding! (p.s. “tak” is Danish for thank you ;)).

After this ‘unfruitful’ morning event we decided to walk through Copenhagen and focus on emotions. Emotions are the bases of sustainability and without emotion sustainability cannot prevail. Again Greenpeace volunteers were asking random people to join the Saturday demonstrations to the Bella Center. However, in order to place GreenEUR on the map we need to act differently. This is why “Super Sustainable Man” will bring power to the people. We need to inspire the people of Copenhagen to show that there are alternative methods to persuade the general public. A super hero needs to stand up and fight for our rights in order to give nature a chance to survive. Super Sustainable Man is the key to success.

To be continued…

Richard Peters

GreenEUR in Copenhagen

Students of GreenEUR, the EUR’s green student association, have arrived at the Copenhagen climate conference. The GreenEUR representatives record their activities during their eleven-day stay in Denmark’s capital city, by making videos, photos and blogs. Below is a selection of their activities.