Saturday, December 19, 2009

Food Fight at COP15

The New York Times reports today on the frenzied conclusion of the UN Climate Change Conference (Scenes from a Climate Floor Fight):

The public scene in the plenary, leading up to the private meeting [between Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and several aggrieved delegations] and the consensus to “take note” of the accord, is recorded in the conference minutes below, which provide a window on the “wild roller coaster ride” described by Robert Orr, Assistant Secretary General for Policy and Planning.

Here are the minutes. Is it just me, or does this conference sound like it could have been done just as well, and maybe better, in some sort of internet chat room?

• Pres
o introduces the paper
o outlines the content
• - massive clapping by Venezuela on the table, but are not given the right to speak
• Tuvalu
o I am grateful that you came back to the meeting
o within the UN, we are given respect as nations
o we have processes to consider items collectively
o today I saw leaders saying they had a deal
o this is disrespectful of the other countries
o we have democratic processes
o we appreciate that you have given us more time
o this documents have major problems
o we need science-based results
o anything above 1,5 can mean the end for
o response measures – inconsistant with Bali
o reference to mechanism on REDD- but is not defined clearly
o no reference to International Insurance Mechanism
o review mechanism in 2015 is too late
o in biblical terms:
o I regret to inform you: Tuvalu cannot accept that document

• Venezuela (bleeding hands from her clapping!)
o it is with indignation that we are speaking
o this document is not acceptable
• Bolivia
o we have learned about this document through the media, not through you
o now we are given 60 minutes to accept something already agreed upon by other states
o we are seeing actions in a dictatorial way
o this is unacceptable and anti-democratic
o we say to the people of the world: they shall judge upon it
o the rights of our people are not being respected
o we are not going to decide about so many lives in only 60 minutes
o this is s group of a small number of countries
• Cuba
o 4 hours ago Obama announced an agreement which is non-existant
o we is behaving like an emperor
o we have seen version being discussed by secretive groups in the last hours and days
o Cuba will not accept your draft declaration
o at this conference, there is no consensus on this document
o I associate my voice to Tuvalu, Venezuela, Bolivia
o the target of 2 degrees is unacceptable
o …
• Costa Rica
o for the reasons that we have heard, this document cannot be considered the work of the AWG-LCA and cannot be considered by the COP
o this can only be an INF doc, it’s just for information
o additional question: in an earlier version, a CP.15-decision, para.1: there was a reference to a legally binding instrument to be adopted by the COP
o now: we have a new version, but the reference to legally binding instrument disappeared
o [wants to speak, but point of order by Nicaragua]
• Nicaragua
o there is already a precedent where we have not been given the right to speech
o now that you have mentioned we finally want to speak
• Pres. [moving on]
o US does not appear on my list any more, so next one is Sudan
• Sudan
o there must be something horribly wrong here
o I pushed the button when I saw Nicaragua raising their sign in order to support them
• Nicaragua
o this is a deterioration of the democratic system
o and this happens at the most important conference of the UN for many years
o we have draft decisions about how to carry forward the process
o states (lists names) have written a submission:
• this has not followed the basic principles of the UN
• inclusion
• bottom up processes
• democratic participation
• equality of states
o during this consequence, many states expressed their position against such approaches
o the only agreement we recognize is ??
o we propose a Decision 1/CMP.5
• reads out their full proposal
• agrees to suspend the meeting
• agrees that AWG-KP shall continue its work
• sessions as often as needed
• shall end its work June 2010
• shall forward its work for adoption at its resumed 5th session in June
o we propose 1/CP.15
• agrees to suspend the session
• continue /complete work by June 2010
• with a view of adoption of the agreed outcome in June
• …
o Secretariat will receive the submission
• BREAK, then start again

• Pres.
o the documents will become an INF document
• Nicaragua
o we would like to propose the following
o document shall be a submission, by Parties, thus only a MISC
• Pres.
o interrupts Nicaragua (Richard from the Secretariat tries to calm him down)
o i asked you about what you think about my proposal. Please answer to my question
• Nicaragua [not immediately answering to his question]
o we want the document to be a MISC document
o we have two suggestions on CMP.5 and CMP.5:
• [didn’t get it]
o if you do not agree, we ask to suspend the COP
• Pres.
o okay, Proposal for Copenhagen Accord will be a MISC Document
o and AWGs will continue
• India, angry
o if you want to issue the text as a chairman’s draft, do it
o but if you want to issue it as a MISC submission by the parties which have elaborated it, then ask these parties first before you say it’s their submission!!!
• Nicaragua
o now that this issue is settled, we can withdraw our proposal to suspend the COP
• Sudan (only as Sudan, Lumumba)
o the document L9 is one of the most disturbing events in the history of the UNFCCC
o this doc. threatens the existence of the African continent
o L9 is murdress; it condemns Africa
o L9 asks Africa to sign a suicide pack
o total absence of morality
o this is like the 6 millions Jews who died in Europe (was referring to Holocaust!)
o there is no African Minister or President who has a mandate to destroy Africa
o 2 degree is a certain death
o it’s immoral to even think that this doc. was issued by a UN or UN-related body
o the promise of 100 billion dollar will not bribe us to destroy the continent
o as such, we do ask you to withdraw L9, delete it from the UNFCCC system
• Maldives
o [started speaking]
• Sudan suddenly gets the right to speak again
o I did not finish
o I want to put on record
o you , President, have been biased and violated all rules of transparency

• Michael Zammit Cutajar [a former United Nations official leading the working group on a new treaty] leaves the room, frustrated
• Maldives again
o we have a real danger of UNFCCC talks going the same way as WTO talks
o science suggests: we have a window of 7 years!
o in the course of the last days, I have sat together with 25 countries
o I have seen huge differences
o large emitters do not take their responsibility
o over 1,5 degrees, many islands would vanish
o we tried very hard to get 1,5 degree in the text
o this was obstructed by large emitting countries
o President suggested to form a group of states
o this document is amicable
o it is not what we were looking for
o I will be the first to be unsatisfied with this doc
o but it is a starting point
o this document allows us to continue talks and come to a legally binding
o I ask you all: please do not delete this document
• Egypt
o we should end this conference as soon as possible
o for Egypt to accept this document, we want the names of the countries supporting it to be inserted
o so that we can see: who has drafted this document, who is morally bound by it
• Spain
o we totally agree with the words of the President of the Maldives
o free expression should prevail here
o what was said by Sudan was not true
o it dishonors an important project
• Canada
o it is legitimate to express one’s views
o but: to compare this with Holocaust is offensive to our delegation
o it is offensive, these remarks shall be withdrawn
• Australia
o we are absolutely astonished
o this doc. is criticized by Parties who sat at the table
o greatest sadness: people who really need the help
• Ethiopia
o on behalf of African Union
o doc. in front of us is a compromise document
o but as Pres. of Maldives has said: postponing is not an option
• France
o request by Egypt: my country supported the inclusion of 1,5 because the
o only one big country opposed it
o what we heard yesterday: we were facing failure
o this text may be unimperfect
o but we can obviously improve this draft
• Sweden / EU
o strong support for Maldives
o reference to Holocaust is unbelievable
• Senegal
o supports Ethiopia
o but would have liked to see binding commitments under KP
o 1,5 degrees has to be remained
• UK
o [micro not working]
• Pres
o okay, then US
• US
o no, let UK first, it was their turn
• UK
o I think this institution faces a moment of profound crisis
o we have a choice of 2 roads
o one road: the document, by no means perfect, we have many problems with it, but it will make the lives of people better
o 30 billion fast start, 100 billion long term plan
o so: it does very important things
o other road: the one of Ambassador Lumumba
o disgusting comparison with Holocaust
o would mean wrecking this process
o after 2 years of work: only INF document?
o please make this a COP decision
• Pres
o is there anyone who will oppose this
o [counts:] 1, 2, 3, 4
o hm, does this mean we cannot adopt it?
o how are the rules? I am not familiar with UN rules… do we need consensus?
• Venezuela
o …
• Pres
o okay, then it can not be adopted
• SOMEONE making a point of order
• Pres.
o please let me speak
o at some stage it will just be okay if I just speak
o so if we cannot adopt it, maybe you just subscribe it
• Cuba
o there will not be consensus
• Pres
o we have to conclude this meeting
o some people want to catch their plane at 8 o’clock
• Slovenia
o i want to propose a solution
o paper could be adopted with the countries against listed by name
• Pres
o thank you for this concrete proposal
• Mexico
o accusation by Sudan cannot be left without comment
o Sudan shall withdraw its remarks
• Bangladesh
o one of the most vulnerable countries
o we must make every effort in the right direction
• Grenada/ AOSIS
o my President participated in the group friend of the chair
o there were others:
o US
o Uk
o Saudi
o Russi
o South Africa
o Algeria
o Denmark
o Athiooia
o Korea
o China
o Brazil
o [could not get all countries, there were some more]
o there was absolutely no indication that this was an illegal process
o Grenada regrets the division that is now in the South
o session was difficult
o AOSIS fought for every single thing
o we were there, we saw the process as legitimate
o I ask all parties who committed to fulfill these obligations
o we stand by the document and we stand by the process
o on his way to the airport, my prime minister instructed me to support the document
o Grenada did its service with good faith
o I find it offensive to characterize the work of my Prime Minister in the way it was described
o I call on my brother from Sudan to rethink his conclusions and to get hold of his feelings
o I encourage us to go forward
• Japan
o we are here neither to accuse, nor to blame
o we are here not only to save the islands, but also to save our future generations
o we have spent sleepless days and nights
o please read the doc. carefully, then you see all the concrete steps
• Papua New Guinea
o PNG was not invited as friend of the Chair
o but Prime Minister spent many hours in order to provide leadership
o in the final hour
o PNG supports this document, even though if it is flawed
o many flaws are due to the G77
o it was G77 members themselves who weakened the document
o many G77 sent only public servants, in disrespect of our leaders
o there is nothing to apologize for by participating in the consultations of the President
o as mentioned by Grenada, there were around 25 countries
o President of the US was amongst participants
o President met with leaders of China, India, South Africa, Brazil
o the process involved
• …
• transparency, accountability
• very substantial funding, both short- and long-term
• Copenhagen Green Climate Fund
• also calls for High Level Panel for creative solutions
• tech mechanism
o all of this we are going to walk away from??
o I strongly support UK
o don’t let this work go to waste
• Norway
o there is time for self-criticism
o one week, there was absolutely no progress
o then top leaders came, made unprecedented effort
o did they make a perfect document? obviously not
o there is no such thing as a perfect document in multilateral processes
o behavior is unbelievable
o Norway is only nation in the world who
o how can you call this a bribe??
o how can I get back to my people in Norway and ask them to pay more money to other countries if it is regarded a bribe?
o we want a procedure here where most of the Parties are bound
• Russia
o i do not support those who say decisions were taken by small group
o in the history of the UNFCCC…
o we should make a step forward
o this indeed is a step forward
• Philippines
o our delegation played prominent role in crafting the REDD language
o we also support the 1,5 degrees
o we have to move in order to protect the world
• Bolivia
o I have a concern
o we do not share the view that the paper shall be adopted
o it has 2 degrees, not 1,5 degree
o we know that one country who has signed the paper spent 20 times more on defense
o we are not just 4 countries not agreeing
o we are more
o we set a 1 degree temperature limit, and 6% of GDB
o we didn’t have a secret document suddenly coming out
o I suggest: we go back to our discussion as to how we are going forward
o we have maid a specific proposal: put the text in a MISC doc.
• Marshall Islands
o this process is about our existence
o to most people, the tiny specks of corals are an obstacle for navigation, but for me, they are my home
o my country is only 2 meters above sea level
o I will have nothing to show to my grandparents as a present from the last 2 weeks
o but even worse: I did not have any success
• Singapore
o my delegation supports the document
o we lend the voice to that of AOSIS
o it is not perfect, but it is important
o please identify exactly the points where Parties disagree
• Algeria
o on behalf of African Group
o we warmly thank Denmark for its hospitality
o we are risking to give a very bad present
o we haven’t been in Kyoto
o Africa participated through Prime Minister Menes
o a draft that we submitted to the other states
o 5 heads of states were present
o as any compromise, there are certain problems with this draft
o commitments which have not been defined
o but this text defines main elements of a financial mechanism
o we also have tech. transfer, and we have short-term finance –that was developed by Borloo and me
o Africa is not pessimistic
o we want to be part of the solution
o we urge this sovereign summit: make the right choice
o we have been suffering for years
o so let us now go forward
• Gabon
o I was not going to speak, given the great speech of Algeria
o the time is right to tell you that Gabon came hear after participating in many for a
o Gabon for more than 20 hours had only one ambition: give a chance to a dynamic process
o like other noble members of this community, our country wishes to make its contribution, too
o we want to move forward, together, with all the others
o all the personalities in this room and outside
o we want to leave with a precise idea of what we are going to do
o every human endeavor is imperfect
o Gabon took part in this work in a constructive spirit
o we are a small country
o disappointed from brothers from Africa and other parts
o Brother, please do not go down this path,
• Barbados
o not part of the drafting group, but feel represented
o we will never be part of any major economy forum
o thus we do not want this process to break down
o this is not the place to score cheap political points
• Belize
o we were not amongst the friends of the chair
o but we were informed by our AOSIS chair, who participated in the process
o we look forward to hear
• Tuvalu
o we have all worked very hard
• Solomon Islands, point of order
o I apologize to Tuvalu
o some of us will have to leave soon
o noting the number of states on the speaker’s list, we need an answer!
o give us guidance on this please
• Secretariat / Richard
o important point
o we are looking how requests can be dealt with
o we have serious problems with changing the bookings, but we are trying our best
• Pres.
o then we continue with Congo
• Pres [after someone informed him]
o sorry, we were still with Tuvalu
• Tuvalu
o we have all worked very hard in the last couple of days
o we appreciate that the document contains financial numbers
o but there are many flaws
o when we entered these 2 weeks, we have faced political constrain put upon us
o we should continue the work in the AWGs
o so we come back to the proposal to put this text into a MISC document
o please don’t jeopardize our future
• Ghana
o concrete proposals in the documents are hope for us
o we do not want the document as a MISC, but as a decision which leads to immediate action
• Brazil
o calls on all parties to maintain spirit of dialogue and understanding
o we must speak frankly, but respectfully
o brazil participated in this process at the highest political level
o as Lula said: now is the time to act
o no proposal is perfect, but this one leads to direct action
o we should not loose these concrete proposals
• Venezuela
o we would like to announce
o there are some elements where we seek clarification
o it is important to dedramatize the situation
o 25 countries took part in the development of L7
o only 14 were developing countries
o with regards to process, let me make clear:
• we never gave a mandate to the Presidency
• we opposed the formation of a friends of the chair group
• in the KP, we welcomed the friends of the chair group, but there, the group did not produce any output
o one important problem we have with this document: markets
o but group of the 25 decided to include markets
o with regards to transparancy:
• drafting groups began Thursday at 3 am (?)
• at the same time, the normal groups were still drafting
o doc. L.7 does not contain the figures we need
o in the plenary, the President said he is not going to start drafting, but then he did so
o we will not sell our principle
• Sudan (Bernaditas)
o we have very important decisions to take
o there are ways through which we can solve problems
o there was not much blocking of numbers by G77, as mentioned by some Parties
o in the second wee
o three issues were taken out of our hands and taken for
• financing
• numbers
• market mechanisms
o this proposal of L7 does not reflect any proposal of G77 and China
o in your proposal, there is no governance
o the negotiations were taken out of our hand
o the high level did not fully grasp the importance of some structural points, e.g. how to distribute the money
o solution:
o we have to make a decision anyways for the continuation of the AWG-LCA
o so in that decision we can integrate some substantial elements
• Lesotho / LDC
o had problems
o 32 of the member states are in Africa
o LDC see necessity to move forward
o LDCs notes: lot of work remains to be done
o but: hope to reach consensus
o LDC support the accord
o and: allow me to wish you merry christmas
• Saudi
o I am working without break for 48 hours now
o I do not have the experience
o this has been without exception the worst plenary I have ever attended
o including the management of the process, the timing, everything
o Saudi have been invited to support production of the text
o we haven’t but have worked closely with
o reactions to this text are incredible, as if we are adopting a legally binding agreement, even though it is only about going to a new level in the process
o I do not see, in the future, a situation where we can adopt a legally binding agreement, given this positions
o what we have hear is actually a good product, it shifts us into a higher level of negotiations
o it’s a positive step in the right direction
o but we also have rules
o the simple reality: the doc. is presented to a plenary and there is no consensus
o but this is a body that works with consensus, so we have a problem
o if we continue, we will stay at least for 2 more hours
o it is very clear where the session has come to, we have to accept that
o now, we have to look at it procedurally
o the Secretariat can help us to structure this document- no matter whether it is an INF, a MISC, or an ADD
o so let us now talk about the process for next year, about the next meetings
• UK, point of order
o [again mike not working]
o I am conscious of the time passing on
o I would reiterate: let’s turn the text into a decision, while giving proper respect to those who have concerns
• Nicaragua
o all of us witnessed what happened here
o we ask the Presidency to be consistent
o ??
• Saudi
o writing down reservations: this is not how this body operates
• Bolivia
o we already had reached a compromise: the document will become a MISC
o this was a consensus agreement!
o it can’t be that we make a decision by consensus and then that we overturn this decision shortly later
• Maldives
o I say this in very good faith
o I understand the points that VENEZ, BOLIV, CUBA, NICAR and SUDAN are making
o we are with you
o but please, we want to stay alive
o please help us, please keep this document alive
o there are many countries who need this document
o I make this plea from the bottom of my hard
o and please find an amicable way in adopting this decision
• Bahamas
o Prime Minister should not have to beg for support
o putting the text into MISC means we cannot operationalize the money that has been pledged in that document
o we need a decision
• UK
o para 9 and 10 of the doc. need to be operationalized
• Pres.
o I would be pleased to give guidance
o I would be very pleased if this conference could adopt this draft
o but it’s also a reality: this body takes decisions by consensus
o now: only 2 options
o – strictly sticking to the rules, then this cannot be adopted
o – take a flexible approach, concerns can be expressed in the records.
o please, UK Minister, could you clarify whether I got you right
• UK
o explains again
• Pres.
o hm, well, are there any parties opposing this proposal
• again BOLIV and VENEZ
• Pres.
o well then I am really sorry, but it seems that we cannot…
• UK and USA wildly clapping with their nameplates, shouting POINT OF ORDER
• Pres [really only some seconds before rejecting the paper as a decision
o okay, UK again
• UK
o I ask you to adjourn the meeting for a short period of time
• Pres.
o okay, we adjourn the meeting
• COMMENT: some seconds later and the decisions would have been finally rejected
• UK through Milliband was very active
• now they are consulting how to resolve the issue

1 comment:

Chris M said...

Copenhagen has failed. The UN has failed to address the most important crisis in human history. This is now the time for sanctions, boycotts and embargoes. A new alliance is needed. An alliance of hope and peace and justice must be built to oppose the axis of pollution, extinction and self destruction.