Copenhagen Climate Conference

The business-end of the summit is arriving. TV sets around the Bella Center are all showing the main plenary where leader after leader is giving his or her few minutes worth of thoughts about the situation.

When there are well over 100 leaders in the room, fairness dictates that they all get their few minutes on the podium. That is all well and equitable. But actually, if you sit and listen to five or six in a row, they could mostly be reading the same speech!

In effect, everyone agrees that climate change is real, that something needs to be done and that this is the place to decide it. It makes you feel all warm and cosy inside.

Occassionally a leader will break from that pattern and complain about someone. Listening to their language is an eye-opener. From what I can tell, the only ‘Article 1’ country of note (not having signed Kyoto) is America, but rather than complain about a nation by name, leaders complain about ‘Article 1 nations’. All very diplomatic…

As for the EurActiv / Blogactiv field trip, we managed some great interviews today which will be the basis for stories or posts as soon as we can upload them. Today’s highlights include:

– a 30 minute private interview with one of the four UN Special Envoys for Climate Change, President Moage of Botswana

– an interview with Kumi Naidoo, Global Head of Greenpeace International

– a very indepth discussion (partly on camera) about the negotiation process and sticking points with another of the four UN Special Envoys for Climate Change, President Lagos of Chile

I leave this post with an image from yesterday. NGOs are no longer allowed access to the Bella Center – and the place is less colourful without them – but they made their mark!

[kml_flashembed movie="http://www.youtube.com/v/25Es-EroKCk" width="425" height="350" wmode="transparent" /]

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  1. Congratulations to the Blogactiv Director and the EurActiv Managing Editor for:
    – making it into the conference building despite the chaotic logistics
    – the good video and news coverage.
    Also here:
    http://www.euractiv.com/en/climate-change/kyoto-pact-balance-un-climate-endgame/article-188467

    My personal comment: it takes years of civil society debate to get public opinion and therefore politicians on board. Regarding climate change, Europe started this earlier than America and China.

    At its level, EurActiv has played its role, notably with a climate change section since 3 years (and strong environment and energy coverage for years). It has many readers in the US, but not enough, and probably mainly in Washington and New York, rather than the mid-West… And EurActiv has few readers in China. Yet!

    Cheers,

    Christophe

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