Climate Change: Report from Copenhagen 1

Center of Concern | Mon, Dec 7, 2009

By Cliona Sharkey
Source: CIDSE, Center of Concern
Daily blog reports from the COP 15 Climate Change negotiations in Copenhagen, December 2009 from the CIDSE-Caritas Internationalis team as part of our joint Poverty and Climate Justice Campaign.

Dear colleagues,

Hils fra Copenhagen!

 This is the first of the updates we will provide you with each day over the next two weeks - to keep you up to date with insider information on progress at COP 15, and, importantly - to let you know when there is an opportunity for CIDSE and Caritas to act, either through government contacts here in Copenhagen and in capitals, or through the media.  We will provide you with information on;

- Key political developments

- Media messaging

- Suggestions for action (media/lobby work)

CIDSE and Caritas colleagues will meet each morning to exchange intelligence, agree priorities, actions and media messages for the day - which will be sent also straight to you in these updates. We hope that this will be useful, and that you will be able to support us in achieving effective and coherent Caritas and CIDSE action at this key moment for the future of global action on climate change.

Pre-Opening Atmosphere

As the Danish hosts tackle inevitable teething problems like processing the registration of around 25,000 people into the one conference centre - people that expect to be fed, watered, and able to email at all times of the day without interrupting their busy negotiating, lobbying and campaigning schedules - government and civil society representatives alike are scattering out like ants throughout the Bella Centre to explore the space that will be their home for the next fortnight.

Yesterday, whether attending last minute civil society strategy meetings yesterday, or doggedly making your way through security and the vast queues for registration,  you couldn't miss the air of taut anticipation in Copenhagen.  There was a definite sense that something big is going to happen here, whether a positive something or a disastrous something is not yet clear.   Some feel that with the many announcements of targets and commitments to attending Copenhagen over the past month, the possibility of a deal is there for the taking, and civil society must come out all guns blazing to ensure this happens. A more cynical - but equally credible view is that the recent announcement that Obama will join other Heads of State in Copenhagen at the end of next week indicates that the deal is already done, and leaders are only coming to reap the benefits of a public moment and enjoy mutual gratification, when the substance of what they agree may fall far short of what is acceptable in environmental, equity and justice terms.  Whilst peoples' prognosis may differ, civil society is united in trying to achieve the best outcome possible and levels of coordination and cooperation are higher than ever.  Many CIDSE and Caritas members are already here, diving headfirst into the NGO fold and into the negotiations.

Pre-Cop priorities

As identified in the CI-CIDSE internal policy briefing circulated in the last days, priority issues identified as the COP opens are:

*       The risk that States will agree only a fast start/short term financing package for developing countries, and fail to agree on secure and predictable long-term financing. Also a high risk that neither the short term package nor long term flows will be guaranteed to be additional to existing ODA commitments.

*       The risk that States will agree a mitigation package (targets, peak year and long-term stabilization goal) that are far below what is needed to remain below a further 2ºC rise in average surface temperatures.

*       The risk that States will sell any agreement as a success, when the content is inadequate and the outcome unable to ensure binding actions.

More tomorrow.
Best wishes,

Cliona and Christine