After a weekend of “batterycharging” for us trackers, we are back to work and more eager than ever to track and push our negotiators to finally make some concrete steps forward in negotiating the substance of the text for a binding agreement in Copenhagen. So far, they are still talking about many procedural aspects and whenever it comes to substance, they seem to be just reiterating what all of us have already heard far too often: 1.5 degrees, 2 degrees, 50%, 80%, 25%, peak in 2015 or 2020… same procedure as everyday? Can we accept that?
No, we can’t. And since we are serious about our ambition to follow what our delegates are doing, I took the first chance today to sit right behind Nicole Wilke, the German lead negotiator.
To be honest: It was simply the only free seat that I could find in the plenary and I didn’t really want to overhear her conversation with the Dutch Delegate and read her E-Mails from behind... so I rather chose to maintain our young and just recently reestablished relationship by listening to the officially made statements in the plenary.
Among them: Antigua and Barbuda, the Philippines, Sweden and the United States… Since it was the Meeting of the Contact Group on Long Term Vision and Goals, they kept their statemens to rather general keypoints, including the maximum number of degrees (of global warming) that we can accept, the date/year of the needed emission peak to achieve that… and the percentage of emission cuts that are directly connected to these goals.
Well, there is still a huge range of different ambitions (Antigua and Barbuda for e.g. stresses that they will seize to exist if global warming is just above 1.5 degrees Celsius!!!, whereas the US stated that 2 degrees as a goal is fair enough) , but what strikes me most is the fact that we are generally still talking about something that seems to be clear to everyone here, even most of the “Climate-Change-beginners” back home!
I just wonder: How are we then supposed to reach any agreement in Copenhagen, if we are seriously still discussing the very basics? And in case the details are discussed in other contact groups (on mitigation, finance, adaptation and the like), then WHY do we even spend time on diplomatic statements without any substance?
I guess I wouldn’t be so worried if I had seen anything happening in the plenary. But as a matter of fact, even my very own delegate prefered to talk with her neighbour sitting right next to her rather than listening to the statements. I think thats a viable sign for the low relevance of the meeting this morning…
And please, correct me if I am wrong. Because it is my sincere hope that I am…
…Outside the building, however, protesters keep up their amazing and impressive presence: It’s close to 4000 people out there, denying the bad weather (thunderstorm) and the ignorance of many people on the inside.
That keeps me going as well…and if you are ready to help, do it now and join the International Day of Climate Action:
or join into tons of different actions planned by Oxfam and taken out by you via the Oxfam Climate Heroes:
About the authorOle Seidenberg
Ole is a sociology graduate and blogger from Hamburg, Germany. Having worked as an intern for both the United Nations General Assembly in New York and a development NGO in Sierra Leone, Ole has witnessed both diplomatic meetings and their failure to achieve clearly visible and effective decisions.