Bonn. The UN Climate Change Conference is coming to Bonn in November. Preparations will already begin in the Rheinaue in August and this will effect some events which have been scheduled for the same area.
Preparations for the UN Climate Change Conference (COP23) in Bonn are well underway. Up to 20,000 participants from all around the world are expected to take part in the conference from November 6 - 17. On Thursday, local and federal governments and the UN released information about the current status of the preparations. Most important for Bonn residents: from mid-August, some of the Bonn Rheinaue will be closed to the public.
At that time, a temporary two-story building for delegations and events will be built in part of the Rheinaue behind the Deutsche Welle, between the Post Tower and Langem Eugen and on the grassy area. Charles-de-Gaulle-Straße will only be open to local residents. Approximately one third of the parking lot on Ludwig-Erhard will be kept open for locals, the rest will be needed for a storage area.
Regularly planned events such as the Rheinaue flea markets or summer concerts will not be affected. The Park Restaurant Rheinau and the small lake will also remain accessible. The kiosk on Herbert-Wehner-Platz and the mini golf are not affected and will stay open to the public.
On September 14, there is a “Firmenlauf” (Company run) and the approximate 12,000 runners will be relocated to the Rhine promenade. One closed-off zone called the “Bula-Zone” will be composed of the World Conference Center Bonn, UN Campus and an extended area behind the Deutsche Welle building in Bonn. A “Bonn-Zone” will extend through over 28,000 square meters of the Rheinaue Park. It will accommodate climate action events including some high-level events, side events and exhibits organized by both UNFCCC and the Government of Germany. During the event, all UN areas will become extra-territorial and they will be fenced off.
“It is our great pleasure to support Fiji, the first ever small island developing state to hold the COP presidency, in its efforts by serving as technical host of COP23,” said Jochen Flasbarth, State Secretary at the German Federal Environment Ministry.
UNFCCC Executive Secretary Patricia Espinosa and Fiji Ambassador Nazhat Shemeem Khan thanked the German government for its support. “I would like to express my heartfelt thanks to the incoming Fijian Presidency for its leadership, Germany for its excellent support, the State of North Rhine-Westphalia for its backing and the City of Bonn for its efforts to make the conference a success,” said Secretary Espinosa.
Bonn’s Lord Mayor Ashok Sridharan said the climate summit was a fantastic opportunity for Bonn to present itself as an open and international city. "The conference will also provide us with an excellent opportunity to show that Bonn is taking sustainability and climate protection seriously," he commented.
Responding to an inquiry from an international journalist, the mayor assured that there would be sufficient hotel or bed capacity in Bonn and the wider region between Cologne and Koblenz. As well, the city would ask residents to consider taking in guests, which had worked very well at the Catholic World Youth Day. A free public transportation ticket will also be provided to all guests. (Orig. text: Sebastian Fink, Marcel Dörsing, Lisa Inhoffen)