COP15: tensions mount, still no clear way forward
A simmering cocktail of fatigue, confusion, irritation and frustration was once again apparent at today’s morning briefing held by business and industry officials attending, or trying to attend, the UN climate change conference in Copenhagen.
Representatives from a variety of non-governmental organisations discussed developments that occurred Wednesday as negotiators and ministers continued trying to reach a new, strengthened post-Kyoto agreement on reducing greenhouse gas emissions caused by burning fossil fuels.
People attending this morning’s meeting at the Bella Center and others listening in at the nearby Crowne Plaza hotel via an audio link heard about protests that occurred Wednesday outside the COP-15 meeting when people demanding “Climate Justice” tried to force their way inside the heavily-guarded facility, resulting in police using tears gas, dogs and batons to detain more than 250 people.
The NGOs also learned that a number of people and environmental groups had their access removed yesterday as a result of the protests outside.
They were also reminded today that, because of increased security measures prior to the imminent arrival of Heads of State, fewer and fewer previously-accredited people would be allowed into the Bella Centre between now and Friday when the talks are scheduled to close.
As they did in the NGO meeting Wednesday, people continued to report back today on their frustration and disbelief that the climate change negotiating procedures were taking too long and still involved repeated changes to various proposed texts, which will eventually go to ministers and Heads of State.
One NGO officials said he had heard someone saying, “it’s time to launch the lifeboats from the Titanic and work with what’s on the table.”
There was also a reference to a statement yesterday from Swedish Environment Minister Andreas Carlgren who, acting on behalf of the European Union, suggested the U.S. and China, the world’s two largest emitters of destructive greenhouse gases, should promise to do more to battle global warming.