Up to 10,000 activists will require temporary shelters when they travel to Copenhagen for the upcoming United Nations Climate Summit.
With the region moving rapidly towards winter, the Danish government is concerned that activists who will congregate from around the world will risk sleeping out in the open or even become squatters when they visit the capital next month.
A total of 15,000 activists are forecast to travel to Copenhagen by Climate Justice Action, the international activist network for organisations and individuals. According to the group, just weeks before the event as many as 10,000 people are still without accommodation.
“We will not urge people to squat – but that is what may happen if we cannot provide visiting guests a place to sleep,” Anna Kollerup Nytrup, the Climate Justice Action Logistics Spokeswoman said.
”That will be unfortunate as we would rather discuss climate policy than squatting,” she added.
The Copenhagen City Council has for months been negotiating with The Logistics Group in order to have large halls or premises placed at their disposal but to date no agreement has been reached.
“It can be no surprise that a lot of people will be coming to town. An alternative climate summit has also been arranged at DGI – but where do they imagine that people are going to live. You can’t ask poor people from the south to put up a tent in the Faelledparken Park in minus five degrees,” stated Nytrup.
The Council is also working closely with New Life Copenhagen which was established to coordinate private billets for the event. “New Life Copenhagen’s deadline expires on November 8 – and they are nowhere close to getting the 5,000 beds they had as their target,” said Nytrup however. “We have some logistical problems that must be solved – one way or another,” she concluded.