Stop Climate Chaos

SCCS blog from Copenhagen: Part 4

Stop Climate Chaos Scotland @ Cop15
Sam Gardner
DAY FOUR by Dr Sam Gardner.
Thursday 10th December 2009

It’s perhaps a sign of man's ability to adapt to new environments that having only been in the COP15 world for less than 24 hours I’m now striding about as if I’ve been hear for days. Rushing from one plenary meeting to a side event and onto a press conference, only pausing to top up my bottle of water (it’s thirsty work) or grab an apple from the guy selling them from his bike.

One of the highlights of Wednesday was going to be a side event entitled ‘Economics of Baldness’. At least it was until I looked closer and saw it was the slightly less provocative ‘Economics of Boldness’. I don’t know who attended this, but the message should have been those at the forefront of a new low-carbon economy will be first to stake a claim to the dominant economy of the future. It pays to be bold and lead the way, especially when the status quo is so clearly redundant.

The current EU target of just 20 per cent was exposed for what it really is today at the WWF press conference - an abdication of responsibility and leadership that actually requires them to slow down the current rate of emissions reductions. Indeed the EU’s own internal analysis shows that it would have to make less effort than the often derided ‘provisional’ figures from the United States. After much talk of going all out to the get the strongest possible deal in Copenhagen the UK needs to up its ambition at the European Council to secure the 40 per cent commitment a safe climate demands.

While the EU stalls the islands of Tuvalu, supported by other members of the Association of Small Island States (AOSIS), were arguing for the opportunity to pursue the route to a legally binding conclusion that their very survival depends on. Their call for what’s called a Contact Group was blocked by others and until all the parties have resolved how to go forward the Conference of the Parties is suspended.

While this might sound terribly procedural and process-like the situation was given some real vocal clarity by some hundred or so campaigners outside the plenary chanting: “Listen to the islands. Tuvalu, Tuvalu, survival, survival”.

Nobody should forget that the diplomatic words spoken in these huge plenary sessions and the behind the closed doors will determine the survival of entire nations and destroy the environments on which many more depend.

This building, devoid of windows, surrounded by construction sites and apartment blocks will need to make a connection to the living, breathing diversity of life outside if it is to succeed.

ECO Cop15 newsletter for 10th Dec

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