Actually, the sun set here in Copenhagen several hours ago, but it seems to have also set for the COP. A new accord appears to have been reached this evening, but it falls short of most expectations. This morning, President Obama flew in to deliver a disappointing speech in front of the UN and then ducked through a closed-door to spend the rest of the afternoon in private talks with a handful of world leaders. Shortly after, accusations flew from other countries that these secret talks violated the democratic process necessary for the UN to function.
After a long day of waiting on the edge of our seats, Obama held another brief press conference to say that his meetings had been “successful.” However, he had little substantive points to offer. Needless to say, our team feels let down that Copenhagen failed to be the shining moment in history when the world united to focus on our common future. Most of us leave here tomorrow feeling disappointed and exhausted, but we have a renewed sense of commitment to gain ground on the domestic front.
Even if the United States was unable to be the leader during these talks, the long road ahead of us is clear. We hope that our readers have enjoyed our thoughts and observations during our time at the COP-15. Even in disappointment, we each feel privileged to have been here to witness this historical process.
With the first week of the COP 15 coming to an end, a draft proposal is finally on the table, although it leaves many of the details still “to be determined.” http://unfccc.int/files/kyoto_protocol/application/pdf/draftcoretext.pdf
During negotiations this morning, Tuvalu made another impassioned plea for the world to realize that its very survival depends on a binding and effective agreement.
Negotiations this afternoon went back and forth as the parties are still divided about whether or not to abandon the Kyoto Protocol in favor of a totally new agreement.
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. Continue reading