Stop Climate Chaos

SCCS blog from Copenhagen: Part 13

Stop Climate Chaos Scotland @ Cop15
Richard Dixon
DAY Thirteen - by Dr Richard Dixon.
Saturday 19th December 2009

Friday started with a live input to the BBC’s Good Morning Scotland programme from the roof of a hotel which was also a ship. It was the first time I have had frozen toes while on the radio.

The world leaders tore up their agenda as soon as they got here. Many of them worked through the night and at 10am the first of several leaked texts of what is now called the Copenhagen Accord came in. There was not much detail in it and the experts round the table didn’t think much of it, but the message from inside the Bella Center was that there was lots of work going on to improve it.

Eventually a number of world leaders gave public speeches. President Obama was a disappointment, with no further offers on carbon reductions or on finance. He did say that there had to be ‘movement on all sides.’ Back in the cattle market we got in a huddle and concluded that this meant he was saying that the US might move more if others did.

President Barroso of the EU also missed the opportunity to go to a 30% target.

It was not long before we heard that the leaders had been asked to stay an extra day. Some journalists were even talking about staying until Sunday.

Both in our teams and among those negotiating in the Bella Center there were a lot of very tired people. President Obama looked exhausted and Danish Prime Minister Rasmussen nearly lost his English at one point.

Then there was nothing for hours. We talked to bored journalists. We re-read the leaked texts. Then we watched the ultra-tedious plenary session dealing with all the administrative details of the last year’s running of the climate convention.

Following a flurry of rumours about who had or hadn’t left and who was talking to who, Obama gave a press conference only for the press corps who travel with him and it became clear that a poor deal from a subset of countries was all that was on offer from Copenhagen. Having squandered two years work and called it progress his parting words were “don’t miss the motorcade.”

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