Sunday, October 11, 2009

Days 3-4 @ COP15 – Pictures are Worth Thousands of Words

So did we all enjoy Obama’s linkage of his Nobel Peace Prize to climate change? I thought it could have deserved a bit more attention, but the link was deftly intertwined into the speech (which can be read here). For those with short attention spans, it came before the philosophical debate of “is-ness” vs. “ought-ness.

Here in Copenhagen, it was the meek that were arguing for a chance to inherit the Earth. Day 3 brought us the island nation of Tuvalu (yes, THAT Tuvalu with 26 sq. km of total land mass) causing a mighty stir in the morning COP plenary sessions. Tuvalu wants all parties in Copenhagen to sign a new legally-binding protocol to complement an amended Kyoto Protocol. This would require developing countries to meet binding GHG emissions targets in addition to the ones required for developed countries under Kyoto. Tuvalu received support for its call from other G77 countries while found India and China leading the opposition against it.

Tuvalu’s call gained the support of many NGO observers who began chanting outside the plenary in the afternoon as delegates returned from lunch. Coincidentally, this was when I decided to eat my lunch so I had some entertainment as I munched on my dry beef and potatoes in sauce. As you might suspect, this was not a planned demonstration and security was not amused. The delegates were shuffled away from the plenary meeting room and out in front of the cafeteria area where I was eating.

In the 30 seconds it took me to get up out of my seat and take pictures, the ueber-efficient Danish convention centre staff cleared off my half-eaten lunch and banana. In a happy ending, they offered me a second cardboard piece of meat, which I made sure to consume so I could avoid spending more money later in the day on another suspect dish.

In other news, Canada regained its top spot in the Fossil-of-the-Day competition on Day 3 for its stance of a non-1990 base year for emissions. Although it does appear it is getting a run for its money from some of the other delegations this time around. And all Fossils may become overshadowed by the first awarding of the Ray of the Day! As you might expect, Tuvalu was the first ever winner.

On a personal note, I made my first contribution to the Islands First NGO by doing some research on “National Communications.” I also discovered in the evening, to my dismay, that I had missed a semi-official event at the Carlsberg brewery where they were serving Golden Naked Christmas Beer! Luckily, one of my housemates brought some back so I had me a pint before bed.

Day 4 was quiet in comparison to Day 3 although it appears that NGOs have been emboldened by the chanting of the previous day and have stepped up their protests.

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