Heading to Denmark in December? Book a room now
The average December in Copenhagen has 17 days of rain and a temperature of 2 to 4 degrees Celsius. So, those readers planning to travel there for the U.N. Climate Change Conference at the end of this year will want to book a warm, dry bed for recovering from all the talking, negotiating, talking about negotiating, reporting about talking and negotiating, and all the other crazy stuff sure to go down in the Danish capital.
So, reserve a room now. As in, soon. Possibly yesterday.
Conference organizers say they’re already flooded with lodging requests, and while rooms are still available, the ones closest to the conference headquarters are largely booked 10-months out from the gathering.
Organizers are preparing for 12,000 to 15,000 visitors during the Dec. 7 to 18 conference, more than attended the Kyoto and Bali climate conferences. The actual number depends a lot on whether heads of state attend (entourages in tow), or merely send representatives, says Maja Kolmos of the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Only accredited attendees — government representatives, the press, NGOs, IGOs — will be allowed inside the convention itself, though organizers expect a flurry of assorted sideshows to accompany the event.
For those attending, we’ve compiled some lodging options:
First, if you’re cool with paying full-price, contact NHG, the conference organizing agency that is handling lodging for the majority of official attendees. The local company has blocked off about 10,000 rooms in the central city (pop. 662,000), its suburbs, and the Swedish coastal city of Malm, a 30-minute commute by train.
“We’ve got plenty of rooms left,” said Tia Daniels, hotel and guest relations manager for NHG. “Copenhagen isn’t a big city where you have tons of hotel rooms, but we do have some.”
NHG is currently accepting requests from groups of 10 or more; its individual reservation system will be running by April, Daniels said. Attendees can expect rates of $235 and up in the city center, $168 an up in the suburbs, Daniels said.
For the thrift-minded, things get hairier, but there are options:
• The boonies: NHG says cheaper rooms are available further from the conference, and many are accessible via Denmark’s crackerjack transit system.
• A Craigslist-type posting board, for privately rented rooms and such. It doesn’t exist yet, but Kolmos says the foreign affairs ministry hopes to have one created this spring.
• Room-sharing: Cozy up to U.S. climate envoy Todd Stern, or other officials traveling on the taxpayers’ dime.
• Winter camping, for the truly stout of heart.
Got any tips for your fellow COP-15 attendees? Post them in the comments section below.