Copenhagen Diary #11 – snow and gloom
Driving snows, helicopters seem everywhere, either bringing in heads of state or monitoring demos, with FoE leading a blockade of the conference, we hear, because, they are denied all access to the conference.
The situation is quite gloomy. We have never been so far apart so near the deadline. Rumours abound – that our PM has been in telephone conference with France, Germany and Sweden to unblock the conference.
Yesterday, COP Presedent Connie Hedegaard acknowldeged the leadership provided by trade unions in this process – this is an extract, saying,
“Let’s walk those last steps! Let’s get it done! Let’s make history!
Your Royal Highnesses, Ministers, Excellencies, ladies and gentlemen: In these very hours, we are balancing between success and failure. Success is still within reach. But as COP President, I must also warn you: We can fail.
Probably without anyone really wanting it so. But because we spent too much time on posturing, on repeating positions, on formalities.
We can’t risk failure. No one here can carry that responsibility.
That means that the key word for the next two days must be compromise.
In the past year, people from all parts of the world, all walks of life, have raised their voice demanding action.
From the poor farmers in Mali suffering droughts and sudden showers; to Pacific Islanders already forced into exile.
From Bengali women in cyclone shelters to Inuits who can no longer trust the wisdom of their ancestors.
From union leaders to CEOs; from grassroots to heads of state; from scientists to leaders of faith, the call has been the same: ACT! NOW! PLEASE!
At our morning plenary, now at the LO Denmark offices, ITUC Pres Sharan Burrows reports on her meeting with the Australian PM, working on a breakthrough strategy. Targets to cut CO2 are still an open question. There may be a dual track, a new KP and a Shared Vision text uniting north and south. Developing nations still demand more cuts from developed. Finance seems more optimistic and should be so (the UN needs a fraction of the trillions shovelled to the banks last year). And major developing nations are asked to monitor and verify their progress towards low carbon growth.
Yesterday we also met Spain, Germany, Nepal, Argentina, Dominican Republic … Today if we can get in the building, the TUC is meeting DECC Minister Joan Ruddock at 2pm with Guy Ryder and the ITUC staff.
At our plenary, too, John Nyemah Natt, VP of the Liberia Labour Congress, called on the ITUC to support awareness raising and capacity building on climate change for its African affiliates, a call that the ITUC acknowledges as a strategic priority for 2010.