Category Archives: COP15

Video – COP 15 – DEAL! ‘Copenhagen Accord’ Returns from the Brink to ‘Take Note’ and Achieve Consensus

Copenhagen, Dec 19, 2009

Talks resumed after a lengthy morning adjournment after a near collapse of negotiations, and then, in a surprise turnaround a cheerful Secretary General of the U.N. Ban Ki-moon announced today that a climate deal had been approved.

Ban Ki-moon

As Ban Ki-moon left the press conference to announce the deal to the assembly, Robert Orr, Assistant Secretary General for Policy Planning, took over and reported that Ban Ki-moon talked personally to some of those leaders of nations with the strongest objections. The parties can optionally associate themselves with the accord, called “taking note” of the accord, but they are not required to do so, and presumably, those nations with the greatest objections earlier this morning, Sudan, Venezuela, Bolivia, Cuba, Nicaragua, will not “take note” to be associated with the accord.

Report by James George

COP 15 – ‘Short’ Adjournment of two hours forty minutes ends, Danish Prime Minister no longer Chair

Copenhagen, Dec 19, 2009.

After the delegates have been awake for a day and a half, and in some cases longer, they were subjected to an extended two hours forty minutes adjournment for what must have been some behind the scenes wheeling and dealing to try to reel in the countries objecting to the proposed deal. Without mention, the Danish Prime Minister was removed as Chair of the proceedings, after his awkward performance through the night.

COP 15: Talks on Brink of Collapse, U.K.’s Miliband Moves For Adjurnment

Copenhagen, Dec 19, 2009

U.K.’s Ed Miliband’s suggestion of allowing those countries who object to register their objection officially, yet still ratify the proposal document, in order that the international climate funding could begin, was rejected. The flustered Prime Minister of Denmark, chairing the proceedings, seemed on the verge of throwing in the towel. U.K.’s Ed Miliband, sensing the possible demise of the talks could be at hand, started banging something gavel-like frantically, next he was recognized, and called for adjournment, which was granted. Perhaps Miliband can interject some additional legal manipulations into the arsenal of Danish Prime Minister Rasmussen, who is clearly in over his head trying to regulate this complex meeting using consensus rules to which he is unaccustomed.

The talks have now been in adjournment for about an hour.

Report by James George

COP 15 – Venezuela Slams L7 Document, “Our Principles Do Not Have a Price Tag”

Copenhagen, Dec 19, 2009

As the fate of the COP 15 hangs in the balance, Venezuela issued a strong critique of the L7 document, the proposal in question.
Partial and choppy excerpts:
“Developing countries spend 1.3 trillion dollars a year for war. Here we are not begging. These countries are calling for figures that will enable them to save there own lives. 1.5 degrees. 350 parts per million…
Now we propose that we leave L7 as miscellaneous.. we don’t want to burn it.
Keep your checkbooks in your pockets and commit yourselves to principle . You can’t purchase principles, Mr. developed countries…”

“And I would like to point out that we only have had this document for four hours. And you expect us within four hours to make a substantive decision – do you really think this is a serious proposal? That is my question….
The imperial interests are being imposed and this is flying in the face of those who are most vulnerable. And we would reject this document…”

“Our dignity does not have a price tag. We will not sell the principles – not even for 30 billion dollars, our principles do not have a price tag”

COP 15 – Four Contries Ready To Reject the Proposal, U.S. Special Envoy Todd Stern Defends, Consensus Required?

Copenhagen, Dec 19, 2009.

After a full day and night of negotiations, the statements for and against the proposal are continuing well into the morning here in Copenhagen.

U.S. “I think we should adopt the decision and not let this work go to waste” Todd Stern

Nevertheless, the chances for success looks increasingly slim, with strong objections coming from a few countries.

There are a few major objections.

Procedural. The document was created in a non-transparent fashion and released at the very last minute with no time even to review it.
Weakness. The two degree target is dangerous for many nations, including Africa.
Bribery. The money is being offered in exchange for survival.

Comment from a delegate in the food line: He thinks they will get this proposal through, by hook or by crook. For example, the chair can declare that consensus has been reached, even though it hasn’t, and then the body has to override the chair, which requires a three quarters vote. If true, there is an indirect way to bypass consensus and use a three quarters vote. He says this method was used in a previous conference.

Report by James George

COP 15 – Tuvalu Rejects Document – “Thirty Pieces of Gold to Betray Our Future” – Agreement Unraveling

Copenhagen, Dec 19, 2009

Obama’s proposal appears to be unraveling as reactions from other nations and groups begin to emerge.

In the plenary hall, island nation Tuvalu just announced their rejection the document.

“In Biblical terms it looks like we’re being offered 30 pieces of silver to betray our future. Mr. President, Tuvalu cannot except this document.”

Bolivia is also denouncing the document for the reason they were just given the document 60 minutes ago.
“We have one hour to decide upon the lives of millions of people… this is not the way in which the world should discuss the future of the planet which should be done in a democratic way. We are not going to endorse this document… It does not capture the consensus of all those who are present”.

Cuba: “Four hours ago Obama announced an agreement that is nonexistent … This is an insult to the world community.
there is not one single word about the commitments of developed countries in this document”

COP 15 – The “Deal” is Really a Proposal.

Copenhagen, Dec 19, 2009

Don’t break out the campaign just yet. Reports of a climate deal are confusing if not outright misleading. For example, the New York Times story with the headline “Climate Deal Announced, but Falls Short of Expectations” is only partially true – this proposal does fall short of expectations. But the implication of the NYT headline isn’t consistent with the second paragraph which says “”The agreement still needs to be approved by the 193 nations gathered here”. Approximately 25 nations approved this ‘deal’, actually a proposal that must be presented to the 193 countries for approval. The process here is one of consensus, meaning that if even one country does not agree to the terms, there effectively will be no agreement. Whether the countries that put forth this proposal would still honor it in that case remains to be seen.

This proposal has stripped out many key contentious details, such as country by country emissions reductions targets in 2020 and 2050. These would be filled in early next year, so much haggling remains.

Report by James George

Video – COP 15 – Press Conference Chaos, Rumors of Obama and EU Cancellations: When the Press is the News…

Copenhagen, Dec 18, 2009

As the talks struggle on into the night, the press is eagerly awaiting any word. First, there was a rumor that Obama was giving a press conference. A near stampede of journalists running from the media center to the press room resulted in this jammed up entrance. One journalist tried to push her way past saying – “I left my laptop in there”. After all the pushing and showing, it turned out Obama would not be making a press conference at that time nor to the large press pool at all. Instead he later gave a press conference to a small group of press traveling with him.

Later, an EU press conference was officially announced, and hundreds of journalists crammed into the NGO press room, sitting on the floor for about an hour before being told that the press conference was canceled.

Report by James George