26 July 2007

Climate Change Summit 2007

Official website for the conference here.

The conference took place at Dockside in Darling Harbour over two days, 25-26 July. I was responsible for taking notes that will be turned into a short summary of the outcomes to send to the Prime Minister, John Howard. There were some outstanding speakers and extremely interesting case studies on how Australian business and local governments are responding to the challenge of climate change.

Primary topics included risk management as it applies to climate change, development of an environmental policy with internal commitments to greening the workplace, adaptation required due to the changing climate, supporting and influencing behavioural changes, and the importance of credentials and transparency to avoid "greenwashing." In one of the more lively discussions early in the first day, many of the delegates criticized the use of carbon offsetting as a legitimate practice toward carbon neutrality. Other topics included "climate porn" in the media's overuse of dramatic images like the Antarctic ice-shelf collapse and stranded polar bears, the creation and future of Earth Hour, and the application of the Stern Report to the Australian market.

Roger Beale AO, Senior Associate, Allen Consulting Group
Published reports include:
Triple Bottom Line Measurement and Reporting in Australia (2002)Triple bottom line includes the economic, social and environmental factors of sustainability.
Deep Cuts in Greenhouse Gas Emissions (2007) – Analysis of the cost implications in Australia as a result of reducing greenhouse gas emissions significantly by 2050.

Darling Harbour

Darling Harbour: Dockside is all the way down on the right

Aroma Festival

This is at the risk of being called over-caffeinated.

"For lovers of coffee, chocolate, tea & spice."

Individual booths with coffee for $1 and other treats from $1-5. Dangerously cheap but the best booths have long lines, so there's plenty of time to finish the latte before ordering the flat white.

Product showcase for mostly commercial use. And giant beans.

20 July 2007

Nouméa Day 2 & 3 - City Center & Beaches


At the bookshop (Librarie Montaigne) near Place des Cocotiers, I was tempted to buy Al Gore's book in French.

Giant chessboard in the Place des Cocotiers.

Coco Glacé – recommended by Lonely Planet for ice cream and crepes, tested and re-recommended by yours truly – in the Place des Cocotiers.

Hôtel de Ville at the bottom (west end) of the Place des Cocotiers.

Looking at Ile aux Canards on the left from the beach at Anse Vata, and Ilot Maître farther away on the right.

Five minutes by yellow water taxi gets you to Ile aux Canards for a round-trip fare of 900 francs (about $9 US) where they have chairs, umbrellas and a snack/coffee shop.

I met up with two local Rotarians who were very kind and took me on a tour of the lower part of the peninsula Nouméa sits on. Dominique is a Rotarian of Nouméa Ouen Toro and Christian is the President of the Nouméa Rotary Club, still a men-only club.

Sunset over the Baie de Ste Marie from Mount Ouen Toro, a 132-meter hill at the southern end of Nouméa.

Plaque showing Rotary Nouméa Ouen Toro meeting time at Hôtel Le Méridien.

The grounds of the five-star Hôtel Le Méridien – the most expensive place to stay in Nouméa but by far the most beautiful, too.


Sunday morning: the last time climbing down (or up!) these stairs that go all the way down to street level, where you can see the cars.

Moved into the (Best Western) Hôtel Le Paris for my last night in Nouméa – breakfast was included in the morning and the room had a bathtub. Also voted the most French hotel line outside of France. Fantastic.

My last visit to the market where there is music on the weekends and dancing children to create an obstacle course.

For dinner on my last night I headed to Baie des Citrons (the city center is completely closed at night), and picked the restaurant La Boucherie & Cie, decorated in everything cow. Perfect. Very touristy row of places, but the food here was very tasty and the staff's recommendations were excellent.

A glass a red wine to finish the evening at Ethnik, just down the way from the restaurant.

19 July 2007

Nouméa Day 1 - Bastille Day Eve

The beginning of forming lines to get the lanterns to march to the Place des Cocotiers where the parade ends with fireworks, performances, snack stands and amusement rides.

handing out the lanterns

waiting for the parade to begin

walking down the Avenue du Maréchal Foch

"Macarena" dancing marching band - I have a video to prove it!

Nouméa Day 1 & 3 – Tjibaou Cultural Center

See the Tjibaou Cultural Center website for more information.

first look from the bus on the way there

first look from the entry


DAY 3 – Sunday July 15

Nouméa Day 1 - City Center

View of the city from near the Auberge de Jeunesse.

Place des Cocotiers (Coconut Square) where you'll find the red-roofed rotunda, la fontaine Céleste (an old fountain from 1892), and most importantly, the Office of Tourism for friendly and helpful advice!

Port Moselle marina near the Market

At the Market

Market Café for breakfast

American Memorial
The USA set up a military base here during World War II and arrived with 40,000 troops in 1942.

Lanterns for the Bastille Day march that evening

Mwâ Ka – a 12 meter high totem pole, meaning the house of mankind. The eight sections of carvings represent the eight regions of New Caledonia. The Kanak community created it to commemorate 24 September, the anniversary of the French annexation of New Caledonia in 1853.

Boulangerie Marais - do not miss this place if you make it to Nouméa!