Germany and Indonesia presenting themselves at COP19 – similar and different at the same time

In the many different side events, there are also plenty sessions organised by countries. Germany, for example, had a side event about the “Energiewende”, while Indonesia hosted one on “Securing a Low Carbon Future”. The two events had in common that the countries praised themselves for the efforts they are undertaking to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. However, they were also very different.

While the audience at the German side event was big and mainly composed by people who came definitely from the global north, I was definitely the only white woman in the room in Indonesia’s pavillon, and interest was generally much lower despite the high level panellists (i.e. Indonesian ministers).

Besides the normal side events organised by the COP, there are also several countries and organisations that have their own side event space. Among the countries are the EU, USA, Japan, China and Indonesia. The Indonesian pavillon is very hidden, much smaller, less equipped… kind of symbolic for the role that it is attributed by most of the world. But when you make it to the pavillon, people take care of you, find you a seat, offer you little presents, and the smile in their face tells that they are happy to see you there.

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