CPh v.11.3 : 2 Days to Go And Where It Stops Or Restarts Nobody Knows

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{ the robotrons at work, guarding the sinking ship }

It’s been some rough days, and we won’t attempt to analyze much in this round. We’ve been spending the day preparing for Our Post-Cop(15) project launch which we will post more about 2morrw. But you can already go and check out some fantastic design work by the XLt crew here: www.xlterrestrials.org

We felt early on that an important struggle would be to catalyze greater action beyond these 12 days. But it was and is equally important to put the pressure on in the Hot Spots, or else the beasts just take even more for themselves.

Many inspiring stories have been coming through, like the rapid fire snippets by Filastine, the Barcelona-based artivist warrior, which you can read in full on his blog … and one of the Climate Justice Activists,  Tadzio Mueller, who was arrested by undercover police on Tuesday had said to Current TV last week on the predictable systemic Danish crackdown on activists:

“… it is absolutely unsurprising what the police are doing. And while, of course, we condemn it, we also don’t want to get caught in a situation where all we talk about is the police’s violation of our civil liberties. And no doubt those violations have occurred. We are really much more interested in talking about our different agenda for climate politics and that we’re absolutely on track to achieve some of the most amazing actions in the Global North, we hope, since the WTO protests in Seattle.”

Btw you can follow news of actions and petitions for his immediate release here ( A FBook group w/ already over 2,000 supporters ) and/or at the CJA site. And there were snatch squads during the day so please post us about any news regarding arrested peeps and we’ll spread where we can.

And at this point we want to thank all the people who have been pouring so much energy into the fight for our future !!! And if you’re absorbing all this from a distance and wondering what you can do … Help amplify the street level news … Another Future Script Is Necessary !

Here’s an inspiring round-up of things thus far from The Independent UK writer,  Johann Hari , a rare impassioned journalist who is not afraid to take it into the realm of subjective reporting … This is a great read ! An XLterrestrial no doubt : ) !

And here’s another great bounty of information below that needs spreading to our communities to comb through so we can all figure our next strategical moves. And btw there’s lots of bits + links in her previous post “Day 9″ in our previous entry. Thx again Tina!!!

DAy 10 report from Tina Gerhardt

Dear all,

Here’s a wrap up of Wednesday’s summit and actions.

1. Summit | 2. Demos and Actions | 3. Summary

___

1. This summit is among the biggest summits ever held world-wide with 119 states of heads attending and 193 nations involved in the negotiations.

But as the clock ticks on, negotiations are quickly unraveling along a variety of faultlines.

- Negotiations continue through the night / U.S. Blocks Discussions – Last Night

Last night, negotiators worked until 5 am but this morning, John Ashe, chair of the Ad-Hoc Working Group on the Kyoto Protocol, told the conference: “I regret to report that we have been unable to reach agreement.”

U.S. diplomats inserted brackets into the negotiating text for the main strand of the negotiations, that is, the Long-term Cooperative Action (LCA) plan, the other main action group, thereby blocking discussions on this negotiating track.

The U.S. delegation specifically refuses to commit to a two degree celsius limit on termperature rise and to binding emissions targets.

Whether this was intended to allow Obama to work out the brackets after his arrival on Friday, so that he appears as though he was “saving the talks” OR intended to stall the talks at Copenhagen, forcing their continuation at the COP 16 to be held in Mexico in 2010, remains unclear.

Some of the replacements the U.S. insisted on were replacements of the word “shall” with the conditional “should”, which some have interpreted as a sign that the U.S. does not want to agree to a binding treating before Congress acts on required legislation.

(Note: the gossip treadmill at the COP 15 is high and will undoubtedly ratchet up the numbers of rumors floating around and the speed of their exchange, over the next two days.)

Responses to the current status of talks varied. “We are extremely disappointed,” said Ian Fry of Tuvalu. “I have the feeling of dread we are on the Titanic and sinking fast. It’s time to launch the lifeboats.”

Others were far from abandoning ship. “Obviously there are things we are concerned about, but that is what we have to discuss,” Sergio Barbosa Serra, Brazil’s climate ambassador, told the Associated Press. “I would like to think we can get a deal, a good and fair deal.”

- UNCFFF President Connie Hedegaard Resigns – AM

Today, Connie Hedegaard resigned as President of the UN climate change conference in Copenhagen. She will be replaced by Prime Minister Rasmussen.

Downplaying the last minute switch and underscoring that it had always been planned, Hedegaard told the summit: “With so many heads of state and government having arrived it’s appropriate that the prime minister of Denmark presides.” Underscoring her continued role in the summit, she said: “However, the prime minister has appointed me as his special representative and I will thus continue to negotiate the … outcome with my colleagues,” she said.

Rumors are circulating that she was unhappy with the leaked Danish agreement and that Rasmussen will work to push the agreement through.

Inversely, there were also accusations that she had been favoring wealthier nations over developing nations in the negotiations.

- France and Ethiopia – Yesterday

Yesterday, France and Ethiopia’s prime minister and African Union climate negotiator, Melez Zenawi, announced that they were coming up with a new proposal that would announced new agreed upon emissions targets and climate finance from developed countries to developing and least developed countries to help them adapt to climate change.

While the UNFCCC is touting this as a sign of access, others were outraged, stating that they felt that Melez Zenawi had gone behind the backs of the African Union he ostensibly represented.

There is conjecture that the discussion I reported on in a previous post between Germany’s Merkel, US’s Obama, UK’s Brown and France’s Sarkozy involved negotiations with Melez.

(And let’s keep in mind that Merkel talked with representatives from AOSIS on Monday.)

Reports I pulled together from various news sources seem to corroborate this report.

Melez met Brown in London on Tuesday. According to The Guardian, Brown said that Meles’s proposals were an important step forward and his ideas were a “framework within which developed and developing countries can work together.”

- Evo Morales calls for temperature increase limit to ONE DEGREE – PM

Bolivian President Morales stated that if climate change related temperatures are not limited to one degree, he said “Africa will suffer a Holocaust.” It is estimated that a 1.5 to 2.0 degree global limit current under discussion would equal a 3 degree increase in Africa. He blamed capitalism for the current climate change and demanded reparations from developed countries. He also proposed an international climate court of justice to prosecute countries for climate crimes.

- Maldives President Nasheed Lays Out Starkly What’s at Stake – PM

President Mohamed Nasheed of Maldives, is laying out quite clearly what the current status of negotiations is. “If we do not wind up with an agreement, we will wind up with 650 parts per million …. Giving us targets that are close to business as usual is unacceptable at this stage.”

“To address climate change based on money is the height of arrogance.”

“Kyoto divided the world. It divided us into rich and poor, into Annex I and Annex II. Our task now, is to come together. Not for the sake of the Maldives but for the sake of the world. If we are not able to do so within the next 48 hours, I am afraid, we might very well be doomed. I hope very much that that is not what we are contemplating.”

2. Demos and Actions

- Reclaim the Power action

Today’s “Reclaim the Power” has been organized by the Climate Justice Action (CJA) network.

Affinity groups made their way to the border of the Bella Center’s conference area from various directions, with the plan to meet at the fence surrounding it at 10:00 a.m.

There were at least 3 blocks and strategies.

(Context: Bella Center, which was the destination of Saturday’s enormous demo, lies outside Copenhagen’s city center in a suburban area. Alongside the center runs a street, on another side a creek.)

1. The blue block met at the Tarnby train station close to the Bella Center at 8:00 a.m. and moved along the police-approved route to meet up with the Peoples Assembly. About 500 people assembled, a samba band played; there was heavy police presence but no interference at first. The crowd moved towards the Bella Center and grew to 1000 to 3000 persons.

2. The green block met at the Orestad train station also hear the Bella Center at 9:00 a.m. in order to try to break through the fence. About 200 persons gathered here and they were greeted by and quickly penned in by police. Half the group managed to get out, the other half was penned in, peppersprayed, beaten and pushed into the station and onto trains heading downtown!!

3. A bike block swarmed.

Meanwhile, from inside the Bella Center, the demo could be heard approaching as NGOs and delegates inside the summit mobilized to leave the negotiations and participate in the People’s Assembly. (Although officially accredited, people from Friends of the Earth and Via Campesina have been denied access to the Bella Center.) Police attempted to arrest people from the NGOs and delegates who were leaving the Bella Center, in order to join the demo. Delegates fought back, underscoring that it was a peaceful demo and that they were free to move inside and outside, and to join the demo. About 200 people decided to leave, despite the police threats. Naomi Klein was among the group.

Around noon, the People’s Assembly, gathered inside the Bella Center, started to move outside to join the other activists. About 300 people walked out.

Some police started clamping down on parts of the demonstrations, heavily beating activists with batons. About ten persons suffered head wounds from the batons and about 30 people were treated for pepper spray.

Inside, a number of actions were underway. Fifty people staged a sit-in to protest that Friends of the Earth and Via Campesina were denied access to the Bella Center. Shortly before 3:00 pm a couple of activists managed to enter the plenary session and denounce capitalism and express solidarity with the peoples of the global south and the least developed countries.

Here’s Yvo De Boer, Executive Secretary of the UNFCCC, explaining why some NGOs had to be blocked in order to give priority to governments over NGOs at this crucial time in the negotiations.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Hbg9qSMzfc&feature=player_embedded

While the police had managed to confiscate the sound truck, the samba band played on. Around 2:00 pm, the demo consisting of 500 to 800 people started moving away from the Bella Center and making its way downtown. It dissolved around 5:00 pm. About 230-260 persons were arrested today.

(The police had been pushing them away from the Bella Center with a row of police trucks. It seemed that they did not want to round up and arrest everyone still present b/c it would have been possible but led to a logistical nightmare and continued actions, as remaining activists would have surely descended on the detention center, rather than leaving town!)

Photos from today’s action: http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/gallery/2009/dec/16/reclaim-power-march-copenhagen

- CJA activist Tadzio Mueller on Trial

CJA organizer Tadzio Mueller – who was arrested by plain clothes policemen yesterday afternoon at the alternative summit / Klimaforum, after a CJA press conference denouncing violence at today’s action – was held overnight and on trial this morning for instigating. It was a closed trial by decree of the courts, arguing that sensitive material might be presented.

Here’s an interview with Tadzio conducted prior to his arrest.
http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2009/dec/15/danish-police-mass-protest-copenhagen

3. Summary

So where do developments at today’s summit and actions leave us?

The summit, if anyone had any doubts, is yielding very little results. The issues remain the same:

1. EMISSIONS – Will nations agree to set greenhouse gas emissions targets that dovetail with what is agreed upon as needed by scientists in order to avoid further climate change.

2. FINANCE – How much are developed nations willing to pay to developing and least developed nations to help them adapt to climate change?

3. MONITORING – And how are the previous two agreements, if there are any, to be monitored?

KYOTO – some countries want to preserve Kyoto, esp. if there is not a legally binding treaty to replace it. The U.S. has refused to ratify Kyoto.

http://www.independent.co.uk/opinion/commentators/johann-hari/johann-hari-its-the-protesters-who-offer-the-best-hope-for-our-planet-1841887.html

Sickeningly but predictably, since Monday the discussions have turned to fixate on money.

But is this summit about how to trade and sell emissions or about reining them in?

Essentially, there’s a battle on between profit and survival of the planet.
What else is new?

The faultlines run between rich and poor nations.

But more complicated fissures are evident and will appear in the days to come.

We’ll see what, if anything, emerges.

———-

Added:

Well, after an interesting panel with George Monbiot, Naomi Klein and Catherine Goldstein, editor of the Huffington Post Green, I checked in with the UNFCCC’s closing statements for today.

Yvo de Boer released one more announcement. By the end of the today, a draft agreement was supposed to be circulated for world leaders to confer on and resolve tomorrow and Friday.

It has not materialized.
=====================================

De Boer: “Unexpected stop” in negotiations

“A number of unsolved issues” are left for world leaders to resolve during the next two days, said the UNFCCC Executive Secretary, after observers of the UN climate conference had spent Wednesday afternoon waiting for breaking news on the climate talks.

The negotiating process at the UN climate conference in Copenhagen was subject to an “unexpected stop” on Wednesday, according to Yvo de Boer, the UN’s top climate official. “The cable car has made an unexpected stop,” he said at a press briefing Wednesday evening. By then the conference was about half way up the mountain, everybody was queuing up for the cable car, and “the rest of the ride is going to be fast, smooth and relaxing”.

The unexpected stop happened – according to several news media – as delegates needed time to discuss the basis of the further talks.

It was expected all Wednesday that the Danish conference presidency would present a text designed to establish consensus. However, on Wednesday evening Yvo de Boer said he did not know if the Danish text had actually been tabled.
“I don’t know if the Danish text is out,” he said, mentioning that to judge from what had been said in the plenary session more than one text was going to form the basis of negotiations.

On Wednesday, the Danish Prime Minister and President of the conference, Lars Løkke Rasmussen was consulting all groups of countries on the process, de Boer said. He expected the cable car “to continue within a few hours”.

“It is still possible to reach a real success,” Yvo de Boer said, but there are “a number of unsolved issues” left for world leaders to resolve at their summit on Thursday and Friday.

“The next 24 hours are absolutely crucial,” Yvo de Boer said.

———————————————————————————–

They are, but it sounds like another all nighter for negotiators is just beginning (at 10:30 pm Central
European Time!) and I think they are going to be anything but relaxing.

The expression on De Boer’s face in the photo released with the story pretty much says the same…

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