Stop Climate Chaos

SCCS blog from Copenhagen: Part 11

Stop Climate Chaos Scotland @ Cop15
Richard Dixon
DAY Eleven - by Dr Richard Dixon.
Thursday 17th December 2009

Wednesday started with braving the beefed up police presence and the snow to spend 90 minutes giving out more of our lovely Scotland badges, with colleagues from SCIAF. Again lots of people had heard of our 42% by 2020 target and most of those who had not were impressed. A good number of Americans and Australians took a badge and said: "Yes, I’m Scottish."

Wednesday was also the day that various groups had promised to invade the conference centre so security was very tight and the whole international Friends of the Earth delegation was stopped at the door for no reason anyone could explain.

Inside there seemed to have been no progress on finishing texts for the ministers, despite some groups working through the night. The presidents and prime ministers began their speeches about how seriously they are all taking climate change. Those from small islands and developing countries tended to talk about the importance of a new phase of the Kyoto Protocol to reduce rich country emissions. Those from rich countries tended not to.

Venezuela’s President Chavez revealed the answer to climate change was socialism. President Nasheed of the Maldives pointed out that the US refuse to support a goal of only 1.5 degrees temperature rise because they say they don’t have the technology to get there. The President pointed out that no-one knew how to get a man to the moon when JFK promised it but they managed that and more, just seven years later. I wish we had thought of that analogy when arguing for the targets in the Scottish Act.

But world leaders are also using their speeches to start putting a bit more on the table. Ethiopia talked about a small tax on flights to provide long-term funding for adaptation and low-carbon development. Another grouping that included the UK put several billion forward to halt deforestation . A day that was pretty depressing before lunch started to look a bit brighter but there is still plenty to do.

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