Stop Climate Chaos

Blog from Copenhagen: Part 4

Stop Climate Chaos @ Cop15

Sam Clarke
DAY FIVE by Sam Clarke
Wednesday 16th December 2009

This will be my last message from Copenhagen. As of Tuesday, NGOs were being restricted to around 20 of their planned numbers to the Bella centre, the queues are extending and movement around the centre is getting more and more difficult. As is movement around town as demonstrations (and in one case, a bomb scare) clog up the City. This must be a frustration to ordinary Danes who have extended extraordinary hospitality to the Conference and have laid on a very sizeable activist conference at tax payer's expense as well as many cultural events of all types.

More angles on the problem have been explored in the last 2 days. REDD was laid out clinically by a team from Brazil as being so thoroughly ill defined as being at one end a neat idea to reward those countries which manage to control forest loss; from that to an open door to reward countries that do nothing and to include land that is not even forest and may come plantation at the expense of indigenous peoples. No one can support it when there remain so many unresolved issues: one book I picked up had analysed 22 different approaches to REDD.

Another was to hear about the history of fossil fuels and what we could do about them. This included a discussion of peak oil and coal: but not to worry because coal would peak shortly and our problems would be solved. The panel was joined by George Monbiot who drew a large audience and disputed much of what had been said asserting that there was indeed much more coal available and the best was to leave it all in the ground: that our aim should be to reward based on how much was left in the ground. Wild cheers at this point and red faces on the rest of the panel!

Much gloom here now as the high level delegations arrive and the talks are well behind and not going anywhere. It may not be surprising that its hard to reach agreement when so many parties are involved in agreements and their interests are so diffierent. From this point on it wil be easier to get news via the press rather than from the insiders at the Bella centre. We hope for the best but fear the worst...

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