Time to Negotiate

President Obama arrived in Copenhagen in the early morning, as we are all slowly gathering the proceedings of the negotiations, some aren’t as enthusiastic about his speech before they began and have claimed it to rerun everything discussed in the past ten days without any further commitment of lowering emissions as some have wanted from the US. COP15 is coming to an end, and it has been said that an agreement will come soon, whether it will be binding, or something that will effect change is yet to be determined. The time has been extended for the treaty, but whether that is enough time is hardly certain.

Things have been rather hectic here, hence my lack of posts.  I am also in the process of finishing a project simultaneously, but there is a plethora of information and experiences I want to express here, more information to come soon.



Copenhagen or Queuenhagen Conference

Today has aided arguments towards the UN’s inability implement change quickly. With changes made to the schedule hourly and miss-communication, it is easy to see why people argue that nothing happens. Although, today I speak from an outsider’s perspective, because I never gained access inside the Bella Center. With approximately 1,000 sum odd people (or more) in queue to register to the conference by 7:30 am, most were turned away or discouraged as the line dragged on with no access to water or food.

As described in the Times article, only three times did anyone attempt to communicate to the crowd of why there were no more individuals being admitted after 2:30pm. Then they passed around a document well at approximately 4pm, stating the same discouraging statements:

So while they placed the blame on other factions (its security, its the UN, its the register system), all we acquired was confusion mixed with sleep deprivation, hunger, and cold.

At this point, I am not even so upset at my own experience, but that of people who had been planning this trip years in advance only to stay in a line for 9.5 hours and possibly never get inside the conference.

“Maybe if they put all the people on a treadmill, they could help power the Bella Center”- Matthew Christian, who is a cameraman for Choosing Green.com, jokes as I relay my experience to him along with his colleague Sue Ann Taylor, executive producer of the channel, who was in the same queue as me.

It has been stated that the UN has accredited 45,000 people with observer status for the conference, yet only 15,000 are allowed to be admitted in the building in accordance to fire regulations.  A slight oversight on UN to allow more than double the capacity of people the  credentials to participate in the conference? Quite the understatement.

I’m not sure why I called it Copenhagen (blame it on the jetlag)

Directly after someone finally decided to clarify what was happening (this was about 5:45pm), he informed us that they would only register those underneath the awning (of which we were 30ft away from), Politi presence tripled in size as they waited and heard our disapproval, a little anticipatory?

Politi Storms the Bella Entrance after UN no longer providing registration

I get up tomorrow at 5am in the hopes of being able to register with a secondary pass……..

I am not enjoying this Queuenhagen experience.


Waiting on US?

As it nears closer to the conference, and Obama is confirmed to attend, it only further provokes the question: How involved with the United States be in finding a collective resolution with the other parties?

An article on the Yale 360 Blog addresses this question with a bit of skepticism and uncertainty about what the US will take from the conference.

We now know that Obama will arrive on Dec. 9 en route to Oslo, and that he will offer roughly a 17 percent cut in 2005 emissions levels by 2020. That would be about a zero percent cut from 1990 levels; in other words, not very ambitious — the absolute minimum for saving face, but not enough to save the world.

This mindset is precisely the reason why involvement of young Americans in this conference is paramount in building awareness and implementation of the Kyoto Protocol. Without the United State’s support it has proven the unlikelihood of other high carbon footprint emitters such as China and India having commitment.

This isn’t the first example of America being stubborn, it could be attributed to the founding of our country. Although if the US waits and fails to act on these issues it has the ability to disconnect with the rest of the world.