Stop Climate Chaos

SCCS blog from Copenhagen: Part 3

Stop Climate Chaos Scotland @ Cop15
Sam Gardner
DAY THREE - by Dr Sam Gardner.
Wednesday 9th December 2009

My first encounter with Copenhagen public transport was slightly surreal. It turned out my driver was a big fan of Take That and my first trip to the other world that is the conference centre was accompanied by him and Gary Barlow blaring out of the radio. Not really the soundtrack I would have chosen to play over my introduction to the beast that is COP15 .

So, my first impressions of the Bella Centre? Well, you know you’ve arrived when you see the inflatable globes, the first of which is intended to represent what one tonne of CO2 looks like. Immediately after the ‘tonne of CO2’ and now free from Take That you walk under a turbine blade and straight into a very long queue. A very, very long queue.

Two and a half hours later, having been searched and photographed you are granted entry into conference centre itself.

It's hard to convey the peculiar atmosphere of the place. In building devoid of atmosphere by design (or so it would appear) thousands of people have created an energy that rolls around the building. Cavernous halls are filled with cafes, plenary rooms, camera crews, side rooms, computer banks, exhibition stands, delegate offices, media centres, more cafes, NGO campaign stunts, teleconference suites and far more. Everywhere folk are huddled round laptops or sat in circles having some impromptu strategy meeting, or running from one event to another or craning to get into a packed fringe event to see the latest scientific projections of climate impacts on, for example, water availability in the United States.

Amongst all this organised chaos NGOs such as WWF go about their business pushing for that elusive FAB (Fair, Ambitious and Binding) deal. This means rejecting the special interest pleading from dinosaurs in the EU business lobby, bringing clarity to the multiple interpretations of the various reduction commitments from different countries, exposing the emissions accounting trickery that threaten to create huge loop-holes in targets and describing the plan from the Danish Presidency
for what it is; ‘too elitist, selective and non transparent’.

There is clearly far more to do here than there are hours in the day. Meetings ignore any normal working hours and roll onwards into the night. But, from the looks of it, I guess that is what it is going to take.

ECO Cop15 newsletter for 9th Dec

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