A Hungry Delegate’s Guide to COP21

Days at COP21 can prove to be hectic, busy, and non-stop. The days are so filled, in fact, that sometimes it can be difficult to find time to eat between sessions, or even remember that lunch should have happened three hours ago. While a diet consisting of pain-au-chocolate and café-au-lait could be considered a dream come true, variation is key to the sanity and energy of hungry delegates.

Every morning as you walk past the poles bearing national flags at the entrance to COP21, you can grab an apple for a healthy start to your day (or maybe it will sit in your bag until later that night, that is up to you). After passing through security, you can pick up your daily COP21 chocolate bar (not snack-sized, but full-sized, free trade and sustainably sourced) for a pick-me-up later in the day. These snacks are highly dependable and most welcome.

There are many places to grab a bite to eat around the venue, whether you fancy a simple sandwich, croissant, or a nice hot meal. I am convinced that the French can make anything taste delicious, even a simple cheese sandwich.

With a bit of luck, there are some tasty snacks to be found around the conference area. While pastries and juice are excellent find, my personal favourite has been Ben and Jerry’s ice cream. Nothing works better than free ice cream to make tired and hungry delegates feel happy and optimistic – except maybe arriving at a transparent, ambitious, and legally-binding agreement of course.


Laura Maxwell is a first year Master of Development Practice candidate at the University of Waterloo and will be attending COP21 as part of the delegation of Kiribati, a small island nation located in the Pacific Ocean.  Her special interests include climate change, restoration and marine ecology, human health and the environment, and conservation biology.


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