Stop Climate Chaos

SCCS blog from Copenhagen: Part 14

Stop Climate Chaos Scotland @ Cop15
Richard Dixon
DAY Fourteen - by Dr Richard Dixon.
Sunday 20th December 2009

After Obama’s private press conference the world thought they knew what had been agreed and that became the story in the global media. But the conference was not actually over for another 20 hours and the delegates came back together to decide that, actually, they didn’t want to adopt the document now known as the Copenhagen Accord. A number of countries complained about the big countries stitching up an agreement between themselves and subverting the UN process.

By eight in the morning the conference had argued itself to a standstill and was adjourned while officials, aided by the UK’s Ed Miliband, tried to work out how to get some formal acknowledgement of the Accord. This ‘short’ break turned out to be two hours long and finally their solution was to get the conference to agree to ‘note’ the Accord, the weakest possible form of recognition.

It was pretty painful watching these people, most of whom have had almost no sleep for 36 or even 48 hours, trying to get their heads round the intricacies of UN protocol language. At one point the Chinese negotiator mistakenly slipped into English and the interpreter kept translating English... into English for a few sentences.

Ban Ki-Moon tried to put a brave face on the outcome, suggesting that it started of lot of good things, but it was clear that Copenhagen had delivered far less than almost everyone had hoped. The environment groups had managed to keep their spirits up through the night but as they head back to their own countries they will start to feel pretty glum.

Leaving Copenhagen on my train heading for Germany and the frozen Eurostars was a great relief. Just a week of climate summit madness feels like it shortens your life by at least a month. It is 26 years since I was last in Copenhagen and though it is a nice city with friendly people. Forgive me, but I don’t feel I’ll want to return any time soon.

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