Stop Climate Chaos

SCCS blog from Copenhagen: Part 2

Stop Climate Chaos Scotland @ Cop15
Sam Gardner
DAY TWO - by Dr Sam Gardner.
Tuesday 8th December 2009

OK, I’m getting closer. Honest.

And by the time you read this I should have completed stage six of my seven part journey and be stepping off a sleeper train in the centre of Copenhagen - right in the heart of the action.

Yesterday (Monday 7) was the opening day of the conference and given the collective level of rhetoric it’s hard to keep expectations in check. History has shown though that a true climate deal is the most elusive of global agreements. However, this has got to be it. No more selling the ambition short, no more deliberate and oh so selfish and short-sighted stalling to protect oil interests (Saudi Arabia) or tar sand concessions (Canada). The world has waited far too long for this moment and will wait no longer. Sadly, the world’s climate system pays no heed to the weight of words and papers from the UN. They only respond to those actions that actually curb our burning of fossil fuels. This deal must make those actions a reality.

Perhaps one of the most powerful statements of the day came not from a politician but from the 56 different newspapers from around the world all carrying the same editorial. In Russian, Chinese and Arabic and from the Miami Herald to the Gulf Times in Qatar they all carried the same message:

We call on the representatives of the 192 countries gathered in Copenhagen not to hesitate, not to fall into dispute, not to blame each other but to seize opportunity from the greatest failure of modern politics.

Although a momentum is finally starting to build behind these talks, there is also a mountain to climb if any outcome is to be described as a success by those living in fear of a climate running out of control. Make no mistake this will be a roller coaster ride.

The Danes have their much touted ‘political fudge’ option on the table while India, China, Brazil and South Africa are presenting a powerful rejection of any such plans. Some members of the G77 and China are showing some signs of backing the position of those most at threat from dangerous climate change - the Alliance of Small Island States. Meanwhile, President Obama’s decision to attend the conference during the critical second week have upped the ante as well as heightened the risk of greenwash.

And with the thought of late night negotiations now firmly fixed in my mind, I sort of already know that the sleeper train will probably be the last opportunity I have of a decent night’s sleep for the next two weeks.

ECO Cop15 newsletter for 8th Dec

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