COP15: make or break
I have been following the news since I left Copenhagen yesterday and I am torn on how to feel about COP15.
It is a reassurance that people are making their voices heard in such numbers, surely that cannot go unheard.
If heads of State do not come to an acceptable decision in the next couple of days, it will be one of the most disappointing moments in the history of climate change policy.
Two articles in the English speaking news today, with a very different tone on the progress of negotiations:
"Wahu Kaara, a Kenyan member of the People's Movement for Climate Change, said direct action was vital after the failure of the talks so far.
"Sovereignty of the people is the only solution to the climate crisis. Negotiators in the rooms make deals for profit at the expense of people's lives."
Yvo de Boer, the head of the UN's climate change secretariat, talked to the protesters inside the centre. "I'm stuck between a rock and hard place," he said, shortly before asking: "Do you want to talk to me or do you want to fight me?"
The New York Times,
"A final agreement on the program [REDD] may not be announced until the end of the week, when President Obama and other world leaders arrive in part because there has been so little progress on other issues at the climate summit meeting, sponsored by the United Nations.
It is likely to be the most concrete thing that comes out of Copenhagen and it is a very big thing, said Fred Krupp, head of the Environmental Defence Fund."
And one article in the French press comparing the negotiations with a game of poker, where the situation can turn around at the last minute:
"At the Bella Centre, where the summit is taking place, many people fear that the conference will end with just a simple political declaration. But, even if the atmosphere is not positive, nothing is stopping a last minute break-through. The negotiations are also a game of poker in which everybody keeps their game secret until the last moment.
Meanwhile, heads of state started to arrive on Wednesday. By late afternoon, a rumour, one more, reported "good news" with the imminent arrival of a new draft. The evening is just beginning. Behind the scenes, negotiations continue".
Meanwhile, talks to save the planet from catastrophic climate change were on the brink of collapse this morning (17 December) as officials from the three main blocs – rich countries, major developing economies, and small island states – said they had given up on getting a substantive deal.
Even as 115 world leaders began arriving to put their personal imprint on a deal, the summit hosts were admitting they had failed to broker an agreement.
A musical note to end on:
Eleanor Smith, European Renewable Energy Council