The 10th Conference of the Parties (COP-10) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change met in Buenos Aires, Argentina in December, with what would seem to be reason to celebrate. The Kyoto Protocol was finally going to go into force on February 16. But the mood among the thousands of environmental NGO participants was neither happy nor hopeful.
Ironically, the COP-10 meeting was held at the Argentine Rural Society (La Rural, for short), an agricultural promotion body. Next to the convention hall is an amphitheater for equestrian and cattle shows.
As always, the major environmental pressure groups made their presence felt. Indeed, the first thing visible upon arrival at the convention center was a large ark placed in front of the entrance by Greenpeace. Allegedly powered by solar panels, the inside of the ark seemed to house Greenpeace office facilities—but early in the conference, it had a line leading into it from a gasoline generator, which was later removed.