After a veerrry late night and unfortunately early morning, the proceedings this morning moved disappointingly slowly. Most meetings once open to observers are now closed, and it's very difficult to access substantive updates. Currently the opening ceremony for the high-level segment is drawing to the close. Things may pick up after this - I'll keep you posted.
For those who are wondering, here's the general process for keeping up with proceedings: Each morning, either download the 'Daily Programme' (one for official UNFCCC events and one for NGO side events) or pick it up at the Documents desk upon getting in to the center. Skim for important or interesting events. Scan the screens around the center that post updates and events that may not be on the program. Any event with celebrity status and late-day substantive meetings are usually posted here. Log on to gmail once in the conference (extra points if multitasking in a committee), checking you inbox and contact's statuses for their whereabouts and news on events.
SBSTA draft text, or a really bad multiple choice quiz?
Also, sign up for every listserv imaginable. Politico does a good morning update, and US Climate Action Network (USCAN) has been running a particularly good one, sending out information about anything from event updates to the protests occurring in the city. They also have members taking nearly word-for-word notes on all important substantive meetings (most of which are not broadcast live) which then are distributed for those who could not get in. When updated draft texts come out, either snag them from the website or the Documents desk. (Feel free to comment on the irony of wasting so much paper, but believe me, everyone's well aware.) There's even a Twitter for updates on the location of free food in the conference. Thanks for lunch, Oliver Bruce. Finally, good old-fashioned hallway gossip and advice shouldn't be underestimated either, and in fact that's how I learned how to do pretty much all of the above.
If that seems like a complicated and obtuse system to keep up with the most important climate summit ever held, it's because it is. It's hard to follow the flow of the negotiations, much less follow a particular issue, like REDD, CDMs, LULUCF, CCS, NAMAs... I could go on... unless one is actually a delegate on a subcommittee or working group, or advising such a delegate. Mostly, you try to build your own network.
Ruminations on how today went are to come.