Comments from Copenhagen

It’s my second full day at the COP15 Climate Summit and in so many ways it seems like I never left work at all. Lot’s of familiar kiwis around, lots of arguments about what NZ is doing or ought to be doing about climate change. If Parliament lives in its own bubble, so do the climate change negotiations. They are, after all, working towards a legally binding agreement – just like parliament does.

The biggest challenge is figuring out what to do. Should I go listen to Naomi Klein talk about climate justice or listen to the world’s best experts on REDD? (I chose Naomi.) Some sessions are a feast, others a famine.

The morning briefings are a hoot, as Zach mentioned in an earlier post. It’s a joy watching NZ government officials trying to toe the government line while sitting across the table from a myriad of kiwi stakeholders who know better than the line they’re being fed.

The Young Green members of the NZ Youth Delegation are making their mark, asking the tough questions and linking up with dozens of similar delegations from around the world. Everyone from all the youth delegations has got bright orange t-shirts asking “How old will you be in 2050?”  Eighty-seven. Thanks for asking!

I had the pleasure of watching Georgina Morrison accept New Zealand’s latest Fossil of the Day Award. They really do make a show of it, with tuxedo clad MC’s and theme songs performed live.

There is a colourful climate demonstration in the main hall of the convention centre about every hour. Polar bears, climate ‘debt collectors’ and ‘seal the deal’ chants are the norm today.

The negotiations themselves are in disarray, which is what you would expect about this time in the negotiations. The LULUCF crowd are supposed to be releasing a draft text today, but there is so much disagreement that any draft they release is likely to trigger a walk out by China and the G77. So they keep delaying a draft release.

That’s enough for the moment. Tonight is the first get together for the Global Greens, followed by Jeanette and Kennedy’s arrival at the conference.