My first impression of COP15

On arrival in this city I was no doubt surprised by the icy cold weather, which for someone who has never experienced a winter in the Northern Hemisphere, has taken a while to adapt to. That said, once here I found myself immediately immersed in COP15 activities. Once I had done my two and a half hours in the registration queue I finally entered the Bella Centre.

While a number of events were attended it was obvious from this first eventful day that its easy to get absorbed into the various research endeavours as well as the stance of different countries under the negotiations. Most apparent is that developing countries are not willing to the Kyoto Protocol be omitted from the debate. Most developed countries are of the opinion that such a deal, which is not ratified by big emitters like the US and China, would get us nowhere in reaching the low carbon path that such an international deal is meant to. Further, there were attempts by Annex I parties to do away with the Kyoto Protocol. This attempt was responded to by a brief walk-out by some developing countries led by the African Group. Soon after these concerns were voiced activists had their say in their own unique way…


It’s virtually impossible to escape the talks – one can leave the Bella Center after a long day and still be traveling home amongst the many ‘Hopenhagen’ signs. The message being that now is the time for change, now is the time at which real action can be taken. Amongst the flurry of crowds here at the Bella on a daily basis one never forgets that to have faith. Even if some of us can’t be taking the difficult decisions at least voices can be raised and hopefully heard…

As an observer at this conference there is an exciting selection of side-events to attend. Some of those I’ve engaged in thus far include a meet and greet with the part of the SA delegation, analysis of the potential for sectoral crediting in developing countries by PointCarbon, the experiences of emissions-trading schemes in the US and EU and the potential therefore in Australia and just this morning I sat in on a talk about Climate Justice and Sustainable Development. It’s definitely been an enriching experience for us as researchers and in fact, it’s been hard to choose amongst the many side-events!

Some of the working group sessions have been closed to NGOs. In addition, the participation of NGOs and IGOs is being curtailed substantially especially on the last day (this coming friday) when only 90 representatives from NGOs will be allowed into the Bella Center. So here’s hoping that the process continues to remain transparent.

Watch this space for more updates!

Hopenhagen

On arrival in this city I was no doubt surprised by the icy cold weather, which for someone who has never experienced a winter in the Northern Hemisphere, has taken a while to adapt to. That said, once here I found myself immediately immersed in COP15 activities. Once I had done my two and a half hours in the registration queue I finally entered the ‘Bella Centre’.

Events:

Meeting the SA delegation – off the record discussion but made time for us

ICAP side-event

It’s hard to miss the ‘Hopenhagen’ term which the city of Copenhagen has now been dubbed for its efforts to make a deal. While I will live in the Bella Center for the next two days I am quite aware of the fact that the debate is not in isolation of this building. The local newspapers are