The Executive Secretary for the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change has thanked the Qatari hosts of COP18/CMP8 Doha.
“I am very grateful for Qatar’s preparations for COP,” Christiana Figueres said in an exclusive interview.
Ms. Figueres noted that the venue of the Doha sessions, the Qatar National Convention Centre, is not only beautiful but also a green building in line with the ambitions of the UNFCCC.
“We’ve never worked in a place [QNCC] as environmentally responsible,” she said, adding that the venue was “fantastic.”
The QNCC is built to the gold certificate standard of the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, which is endorsed by the US Green Building Council. It has solar panels on its roof that provide 12.5 per cent of the conference centre’s energy needs. The centre also has water conservation systems that recycle water for irrigation, and the QNCC uses LED lighting that is not only environmentally friendly, but adds to the spectacular ambience of the main hall.
Ms. Figueres also drew attention to how QNCC is facilitating the first implementation of PaperSmart at a COP conference. The initiative is cutting down on paper waste by reducing the amount of files being printed. Participants are provided with digital copies of documents at dedicated PaperSmart desks around the venue, as well as through an easy-to-use web portal.
On Thursday, Ms. Figueres also spoke to reporters after presenting awards for the CDM Changing Lives photo and video contest, the Joint Implementation photo contest, and the African Radio Journalist contest at the QNCC.
“COP18/CMP8 is going to be yet another step forward,” Ms. Figueres told a small crowd of reporters. “The mood is constructive.”
Ms. Figueres also noted that while “gender is always on the agenda,” she hopes that the first official Gender Day at COP18/CMP8 will help to put equality on the official agenda.