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Copenhagen Blogroll Bites
by Newropeans-Magazine
2010-07-21 08:55:09
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As we struggle through the global economic crisis and very hot summer days, let's return to this winter in Copenhagen, As we struggled through the global economic crisis and the bitterly cold, short winter days, when the December 2009 UN Climate Change Conference was held up as an opportunity to at least leave our world in a reasonable condition for future generations.

While the Conference was widely seen as having failed, what was the assessment of participatin g climate change activists? The immediacy of their hopes, aspirations, frustrations and disappointments as well as their reflective assessment is eloquently captured in their blogs. Three such blogs were hosted by Trócaire, Friends of the Earth and the Irish Youth Delegate.

Due to a lottery system, Senan Gardiner, the COP15 Youth delegate for Ireland was unable to enter the Bella Centre for two days. He therefore concentrated on raising awareness of the realities and consequences of climate change.

So today (Friday) I decided I was going to get properly immersed in the youth climate movement, particularly since once again I wasn’t allowed inside the Bella Centre (the number of youth inside was something silly like 12)... So outside at 10am we all shaved our heads in climate shame... I’m so cold!!!! Did I mention that it was around -5 degrees and snowing? Not a pleasant way to cut your hair. On the plus side I was interviewed by the national Swedish news and a web-newscaster... After that was speech writing and then a candle-lit sermon spelling climate shame this was great...

For Niamh Garvey of Trócaire, attendance in the Bella Centre could be disheartening as the speeches promised little:

It is tense in the Bella centre. Heads of State arrived, and a series of speeches were made, including a bitterly disappointing one by US President Obama, who didn’t inspire a single positive comment from anyone I spoke to. While Brazil’s President Lula inspired by announcing new commitments to finance their own emission reductions as well as provide support for other developing countries, President Obama’s speech took a more defensive tone. Rumours abound, from the ever popular ‘when do you think we’ll get to go home - today? Tonight? 4am? Tomorrow afternoon?’ To whether in fact a deal can be done at all. Spirits are certainly low, and information is difficult to come by, since discussions are happening at the very highest levels.

Reflecting on the conference in her Friends of the Earth blog, Molly Walsh, despite her disillusionment with the conference’s outcomes, still found grounds for hope:

Copenhagen was personally very disappointing for me. I did not expect there to be a final legally binding treaty agreed there but I had hoped for better things. I had hoped that perhaps movement would be made on sticky issues in the negotiating texts and that by the time things came to a close there would be maybe three or four areas that still needed to be worked through in 2010... We cannot allow our negotiators and politicians to fail us again. They have a second chance in Mexico... The best contribution that our small country can make to ensuring a successful binding agreement in Mexico is to get our own house in order. At 17 tonnes per capita we are not exactly a world leader on climate change, but all that might just be about to change.

To read Niamh’s blog see - http://www.trocaire. org/whatwedo/trocaire-blogs/93
To read Senan’s blog see - http://senanyouth.wordpress.com
To read Molly’s blog see - http://www.foe.ie/blog/

Justin Frewen
Galway, Ireland

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