December 17, 2009
In contrast to yesterday, getting in to the event was a gentle glide this morning. The police had actually closed the nearest Metro station, meaning that it was a glide of around a kilometer in the driving snow, but still great ‘in comparison’.
For the EurActiv / Blogactiv team, today has been a busy day of side events and interviews.
The event is very much split between those involved in the negotiations and everyone else. In many ways, today has been a climate change jamboree, with representation from all walks of life and many different organisations. To prove that there are ‘all walks of life here’ Robert Mugabe is addressing the assembly as I write.
The atmosphere is changing though as I write. It is now past 5pm and the NGO exhibitors and negotiators are packing up their stands and heading home. The access for NGOs will be virtually zero tomorrow, meaning that the negotiations will be left to the realpolitik of heads of government and not the requirements of science.
Our sources – video interviews will be forthcoming asap – tell us that the negotiations are stalled for now. This may change, but the sticking points involve financing, China and oversight – so no real surprise there then.
The negotiations seem to follow an unusual format – at least for a novice like me! The politicians seem to spend part of their day talking to the press, guest speaking in side events and – one presumes – in negotiations. But then according to the word here, the real negotiating is ongoing through the night. We have spoken to one MEP that finished his session at 3.30am, but was back in the building to start again at 7am!
I am sat typing in the busy press centre. Apparently the accreditation stopped at 3,500 journalists and right now, it appears that they are ALL in the room with me. To get a feel for the scale of the Media Centre, take a look at the following video:
[kml_flashembed movie="http://www.youtube.com/v/E-7p9rkXbv4" width="425" height="350" wmode="transparent" /]
We spent the morning between two separate side events. Firstly, the Committee of the Regions had a session where they discussed the impact that can be had by mobilising regions and cities. There were some very interesting ideas and intiatives discussed including the need for national and local government to communicate that we all need to make changes in our lifestyle.
The second was a fascinating discussion held by the Club de Madrid. They discussed the requirements for the private sector to be more involved in financing the new technologies required for a low carbon world.
I have written about each separately – please follow the links below to read these posts:
I followed this up with some very interesting interviews, which will be published as videos, with some in the NGO sector. This included a representative from the tiny islands of Tuvalu – the current ‘waters edge’ of climate change. If we cannot make agreements for us, we need to make agreements for them.
Oh, and there is apparently a lock-down on entry and exit after a small riot in protest. But you wouldn’t know we were under attack from in here.
For now, it is back to the business of speaking to people and trying to figure out what on earth is going on here – and where it is!Author : Stuart Langridge