A few weeks ago we were in Barcelona for the Innovate4climate conference. This conference was three days long andabout a lot of interesting things. Most importantly to do with climate finance. Innovate4climate had been on our mind even before we left as it was planned for us to be there. We left Madrid with a destination and deadline. Barcelona on the 22nd May. We left north and planned a route that would give us enough time to reach our destination, which included a stopover in Zaragoza to meet my mum's old friend, Concha. There we did a few interviews and spoke to a number of schools about what we are doing, and also had a tour of the amazing city, all organised by Concha. Thanks a lot! Next we raced down to Lleida, Montblanc, Igualada, then Barcelona. The cycling there got better and better, as did the weather. We battled headwinds, heavy rain and busy roads but the moment we left Montblanc (near Tarragona) all the above improved and made for some awesome cycling on the hills behind Barcelona. Then we got to Barcelona. We met our warmhowers hosts and they rode with us along the many cycle paths to their apartment.
Day one was actually just a setup day. We went and met with Max Thabiso Edkins, the world bank organiser and he took us inside and showed us around. The summit conference room was not accessible to us as we only had visitor passes. This was not a probem to us as we were mosty going to stay around the "digital media zone" which was a place where some of the CEO's of companies, organisations and different groups came to do live interviews and speak about what they are doing to the onlookers and the media; we were included and had a slot for 4:30pm on day three. For us this was super exciting as it was our first time speaking infront of rolling cameras.
On day two the show really began. We arrived in time for lunch and then headed to the media zone. Below you will see the video interviews we did. We realised that many of our questions were already answered before when the people were speaking, yet we still asked some questions in particular. We directed our questions towards suggestions to the younger generation and about cycle touring and got some very exciting and meaningfu answers which added a dimension to our perspective on the issues surrounding climate change and made our arguments stronger against those who choose not to act or believe climate change is not as issue. To us this was what excited us about the conference. Surrounding us was a wealth of knowlege and we had the opportunity to gain some of this knowledge ourselves. Climate neutral now was also a topic of interest and we asked many people about what they thought of the innitiative. Those who knew about Climate neutral now were very supportive of it, and they encouraged others to use it. Those that didn’t know of it, when we explained what it was, felt the same way.
We had a few drinks with the World Bank team and then headed into Barcelona to do some sightseeing.
Day three was finally upon us. It started as usual with a few more interviews we did. We had a nice lunch again but this time with our friends at the UNFCCC. Here we were updated on a few things and also updated them on how we were going. Most wishing they could travel like us.
Then it was our turn to go up on stage and be interviewed. We didn't reherse as our trip is something we talk about almost every day to Warmshowers guests, schools, friends and family. We were interviewed about the usual. Our insiration, how we do it, about the evironment and what we see whilst cycling, Climate neutral now and so on. However we felt like the interview was rushed and we couldn't speak about everything we wanted to, but we managed to get out a few twitter-worthy quotes that the UN shared. "People don't need to be crazy like us, but if they see what we're doing, It will show them how easy it is for individuals to make even the smallest difference" This is something along the lines of what Fabian tried to say.
The final day of the conference was great. We were in no rush to get there and went to the beach for a morning swim.
At the conference we did more interviews, our friend Dani spoke about his Film4climate one minute video about carbon credits, we said our goodbyes and headed home at about 2pm. We soon realised we had nowhere to sleep this night (something we put off organising and eventually forgot) we did a mad pack and were on our bikes by 5:30pm, cycling the many cycle paths to head to the coastline out of the Barcelona. A man saw us and spoke to us in Spanish. He is called Lalo and invited us to a community bike repair and spare parts garage that he and a couple others run. We tagged along and told him we needed somewhere to sleep that night so he phoned home and just like that, our lives were organised again.
We went to the Bike workshop and realised this would be the ideal place to work on Inka's bike. Her front chain rings were worn and when pedalling hard, the chain slipped off the chainrings and made a loud bang.
Lalo and his friends gave us a new chainring set and with a bit of hunting, we found matching cranks for it. Everything now ran smoothly. Fabian also repaired his bike and spent time working on the bikes to make them perfect again.
We owe Lalo and his family a lot! He really helped us out and gave us the two things we really needed (chainring and a place to sleep)
Next day we were off and cycled up the coast. The conference and what we had learned were fresh in our minds and we used our time cycling to discuss the issues surrounding climate change.