Negotiations Breakdown?

COP 15 President Connie Hedegaard

COP15 President Connie Hedegaard about to start 3pm meeting after suspension of the plenary re-opening the session

The morning started out with a flurry of activity.  After some discussion about the logo and how certain parties felt it represented the end of Kyoto, the COP plenary commenced with the Tuvalu delegation proposing a contact group to review its protocol, which was proposed and tabled six months ago.  As proposed, the Tuvalu protocol is a legally binding agreement meant to complement Kyoto through amendments, as well as the creation of a new protocol entitled the Copenhagen Protocol.  In no uncertain terms, Tuvalu stated it was here to “seal the deal” and wanted nothing less than a legally binding document.

In response to the request for a contact group, many of the AOSIS countries expressed great enthusiasm noting they are the states most impacted by the effects of climate change.  As Cape Verde stated, “we will be the first to diasappear…in this climate crisis.”  Other countries strongly opposed the creation of a contact group, most notably, China, India, Saudi Arabia and Venezuela.  The opposition was clear in expressing their feeling that the parties’ focus should not be on new texts.   The United States was unsurprisingly quiet.  Most alarmingly, however, countries within the G77 that had formerly been aligned were clearly divided. 

After it was clear the parties would not reach consensus on just the issue of creating a contact group, the President announced the need to
hold informal meetings with the interested parties regarding the request.  In response, Tuvalu stated it would not accept the President’s ruling and asked for a suspension of the COP!  The room went silent for several minutes as the President engaged in discussions with other members of the Secretariat.  She then announced that the COP would be suspended until 3 p.m.   More details to follow….

EDIT: Vermont Law Faculty and Students have been able to capture video of the spirited protest outside of the now resumed Plenary Session.  Please see links below for video coverage.    We will be providing real time updates as events continue to unfold.