Top News

'Made-in-Denmark' better at delivering green message

By Si Tingting (
Updated: 2009-12-10 20:21
Large Medium Small

When it comes to attracting people to the overheated topic of climate change, it's never bad to go dramatic.

The first few days of the Copenhagen climate summit passed with an awful lot of speeches. All negotiators said that their countries are committed to do more to get a climate deal. A handful of others made emotional pleas that the poor are suffering from climate disasters. But none of them work better to wake up people's numbed senses than a presentation of efficiency-minded ideas, especially when the ideas are of Danish origin.

Full Coverage:
'Made-in-Denmark' better at delivering green message Summit in Copenhagen
Related readings:
'Made-in-Denmark' better at delivering green message Climate envoy takes China's message to Copenhagen
'Made-in-Denmark' better at delivering green message Copenhagen conference gets down to work amid calls for results
'Made-in-Denmark' better at delivering green message Copenhagen, concerns and expectations
'Made-in-Denmark' better at delivering green message All about copenhagen

'Made-in-Denmark' better at delivering green message Looking for climate solutions in Copenhagen

The made-in-Denmark conference itself is pretty green by all itself: no bottled water, no gifts of Little Mermaid statuettes for the delegates.

The traditional Christmas tree in Copenhagen's Town Hall square, like the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree in New York, will only remain lit as long as enough energy is being generated by the 15 bikes set up to power them. The 21-meter-tall tree is decorated with 700 energy-efficient bulbs and the alternative means of powering the Christmas lighting will save the environment nine tons of carbon dioxide.

Next to Copenhagen's landmark Little Mermaid statue, local sculptor Jens Galschiot set up a provocative statue showing an obese Lady Justice sitting on an emaciated African man, representing hypocrisy in the climate debate.

The message to reduce environmental impact went so deep into Danish people's lifestyle that they even look to people's final journey for emission cuts. Starting in 2011, new environmental regulations in Denmark will require all crematoriums to have mercury filters. There are also plans to replace seven crematoriums in eastern Denmark with a single central facility for the sake of energy efficiency.

However, it's not just the Danish who are good at delivering the "go green" message; so are those who came to Denmark.

Scottish businesses and non-governmental organizations created a special-edition Scotch whisky as a gift to key negotiators at the talks. The 42 percent proof (21 percent alcohol), 20-year-old spirit is called TwentyTwenty 42 -- to mark Scotland's pledge to cut its greenhouse gases by 42 percent by 2020.

British wildlife sculptor Mark Coreth brought a life-sized ice polar bear to downtown Copenhagen to let people touch the bear and feel what their touches could do to hasten its watery demise. He hopes that people will appreciate the effects of human action and the plight of the polar bear. Coreth is now back in London to carve a twin bear to display in London's Trafalgar Square and hopes to follow with others around the world, even Tian'anmen Square in Beijing.

In addition, youth delegates from around the world are using their own low-budget but novel ways to pressure the negotiators. Yesterday, outside the main plenary session conference room and against a backdrop of suits and briefcases, scores of youth from around the world, dressed in pajamas and armed with pillows, asked their leaders to deliver a deal which will ensure the survival of all human beings and species. And today, a Chinese youth dressed as a traditional Chinese doctor will send out his prescription for a healthy earth at the conference center.