State of play.

COP14 is over, but what exactly does that mean?

It means we are way behind.

The most recent milestone of international climate negotiations was the development of the “Bali Action Plan” at COP13 last year. This document established a framework from which climate negotiations would proceed during the following 24 months leading up to Copenhagen.

Not much has happened since then.

We are no nearer a strong Copenhagen agreement than we were a year ago and are beginning to see the sweat on foreheads as negotiators begin to lower the level of ambition as they fight for any outcome in Copenhagen.

An overview of the current state of play by negotiating bloc:

(negotiating bloc = groups that work together pushing a common position)

Read more…

The waiting game.

Sitting here in the plenary hall – about 30 people in the room. Not much going on. It’s 9pm and we haven’t even started the substantive work that was supposed to happen today. Just speeches. The COP and CMP decisions still need to be approved. I doubt this will be finalized tonight, but will anybody care enough to come back in the morning? The talks in Poznan have ended with a resounding “thud”.

UPDATE:

10pm and still nothing. Apparently there are informal negotiations going on. This could be a long night. One the upside, I had a good conversation with a U.S. State Department civil servant.  It’s always nice to know there are geniunely good folks who are a part of the delegation, even if I don’t agree with what they are doing.

UPDATE 2:

Well, looks like they are trying to power through everything tonight. Probably a good thing given the low level of interest. Having to come back tomorrow would just be frustrating. I’ll keep you all updated on what comes out of this.

UPDATE 3:

Well, it’s almost 3am and it looks like things are going to be done soon. That isn’t necessarily a good thing though. Unfortuneatly I fell asleep for a little while (I’m super sick right now with a bad cold) and woke up to the developing countries speaking one after another completely venting their frustration with the process (rightfully so). Most of this has been total shit. Essentially, certain countries (specifically the EU) are more concerned about having any outcome then having a good outcome. This completely defeats the purpose when the most vulnerable among us are left without any support in the face of what developed countries have caused. I’ll get into more specifics soon once I recover a bit (both physically and emotionally).

Hmmm…

Some of these ministerial statements are pretty impressive! I’m feeling a bit better. The worst of the Umbrella Group (Australia, Canada, Japan, US) had me worried and depressed for a bit, but so many other countries get it and are holding the developed countries accountable.

To see it all go down, check out: copportal1.man.poznan.pl/

They have live streams as well as archived footage. Pretty cool!

But that doesn’t mean everything is fine. Negotiators have always been good at talking the talk. It’s the walking part that seems to perplex countries.

The way I see it, we’re sitting in an oven that is slowly warming. We’re talking a lot about how we’re in an oven, but nobody has figured out how we can get out of the oven.

And yes. We are all in the oven, not just the small islands and least developed countries. However, they will be the first to feel the full deadly consequences of the warming oven.

Hope.

Again, the youth continue to give me hope. Our latest campaign – the Survival Campaign – has exceeded our wildest expectations.

Visit 350.org/survival to be a part of it.

Essentially we are asking countries to commit to the principle of safeguarding the survival of all countries and peoples. While not all countries have signed on (the US for example), we have received incredible support from other countries.

We printed out plackards for delegates to have with them at their tables during the ministerial high level segment. Unfortuneatly the UNFCCC doesn’t allow delegates to have unapproved things on their tables and security took some away. Despite this, Uganda and Sweden both placed the sign prominently in front of them during their speeches.

Now we need to make sure countries follow through with action.

I’ll give a larger update on the campaign soon!

UPDATE:

There are even more countries with them out than I first thought – totally incredible. Not bad for a campaign that started 48 hours ago! The power of youth is amazing. One the list of those with plackards visible: Iceland, Solomon Islands, Costa Rica, Bahamas, Venezuela, Djibouti, Madagascar, Maldives, Costa Rica, Papua New Guinea, and more! (I haven’t been paying complete attention due to emails and blogging).

Sitting in the final few sessions.

Well, I’m sitting here in the high level segments of the Poznan climate negotiations.

I have to say, I’m pretty disgusted with many of the developed countries speaking. They are more than happy to say one thing – to talk about how great they are and how much they care – and then block text necessary for the literal survival of entire countries.

Pretty fun process.

As one minister from a small island put it this morning, we are talking about mass murder here. Mass murder of both peoples and cultures.

Again, as another minister put it, we are asking small island states to sign onto a suicide pact the way negotiations are currently proceeding.

I don’t know about you, but I’m going to put everything I have into reshaping the political landscape over the next year so that we leave no island behind in this process. Survival is non-negotiable.

All too literally, small islands are in brackets at these negotiations. Countries are essentially trying to decide if the islands are worth saving at this point. For some countries, such as Australia, Canada, Japan, and the US, Christmas bonuses for multi-millionaires seem to be more important.