Sunday, June 6, 2010

Remembering Copenhagen...the final hours

Source: Liveblog: Copenhagen End Game
Published by Matthew Carroll

4.12am A group of us are following the final plenary inside the Bella Centre in Copenhagen. The atmosphere has erupted in the last hour, and we’re going to give a play-by-play as things develop from here. For detailed updates as it happens, follow some of our writers on Twitter:
Ben Powless -   Zoë Caron -   Juan Hoffmaister -   Matthew Carroll -   Liz McDowell -   Caroline Howe
The story so far…
Chairman Rasmussen did an interesting opening dance, introducing the infamous “President’s Text” that the media so willingly lapped up as a done deal and amazing breakthrough earlier today as the official outcome to the negotiations. He had the nerve to describe the draft text as having been put together by a “representative group of leaders from all regions around the world”, then he told delegates there would be 60 minutes for consultations by regional groups and closed the meeting.
Venezuela starts banging on their desk continuously, as Rasmussen is leaving until the audience in the plenary hall and other government delegates start clapping. Rasmussen comes back on the mic, apologising for having accidentally (hmm) missed a point of order by Venezuela.
One by one, countries respond to both the process, and content of the text:
Tuvalu declares the COP15 process completely undemocratic, conducted in closed door sessions, and slams the target of 2 degrees for failing to be sufficient to ensure their survival. “We are being offered 30 pieces of silver to betray our children. Our future is not for sale.” They make it absolutely clear that they cannot accept this decision, and there is no consensus. (Side note: it’s important they stated this, as it means the chair can’t pretend he thought there was a consensus to force an agreement through.)
Venezuela is outraged, and explained they hit the desk as in an earlier meeting they requested to speak but were not given the chance. UN cannot be replaced by a small group of countries forcing a deal on sovereign nations.
Bolivia: “How can one hour actually allow us the time to consider the implications for the people we represent? Does this represent the democracy of the United Nations … we are seeing decisions taken in a dictatorial way and this is not the way that the world should discuss the future of the planet.
Cuba: makes it clear that no additional consultations are needed, and there is no consensus on the document; also calls out the lack of commitments from developed countries, and the voilation of sovereign equality demonstrated by the process.
Costa Rica: the proposal cannot be considered as the work of COP.
Nicaragua: Proposes suspending the negotiations until July 2010.
5.01am Meeting reopened, everyone gets confused with the chair’s proposed way of moving forward and a Nicaragua counter proposal, then suspended again.
5.28am Proposal is to take the text as an information document (not a COP decision) and keep COP open.

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