The pace is now accelerating at COP15, as proceedings resume after a week-end which saw 100,000 people make a peaceful protest march to the negotiating hall, and 960 detained in a ‘pre-emptive arrest’ in advance of climate protests in the city centre. The week-end respite also saw the climax of the industry ‘Bright Green’ forum with Speakers ranging from US Secretary of Energy Steven Chu to Dr. Rajendra Kumar Pachauri, Chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Whilst both speeches were eloquent and well received, they were both very much ‘as expected’ with neither pitching for the quantum leap which is clearly going to be required to deliver a real deal at Copenhagen.
As delegates returned to the ‘Bella Center’ in their droves today, now joined by ministers and heads of state/government; three broad camps have emerged. Those who want to improve upon Kyoto to ensure we keep below 2 degrees, those who want to extend it, and those who want to water it down so they can re-invent something new offering a softer ride for the long industrialized nations.
This morning CAT officially press-launched the provisional findings from the next phase of our Zero Carbon Britain research, with an invite to download it delivered to the delegats from every country attending. I was also offered an interview from the official on-line COP15 climate change TV to explain how we see the role of solutions scenarios helping forward the negotiations. You can view my interview at:
CAT’s aims for being here are three-fold. Firstly we want to show delegates from long industrialized countries that a great many solutions to climate security can also deliver energy security and long-term economic recovery. Through this path, we re-vitalize our economies, whilst also reducing emissions sufficiently to meet our historic obligations, so helping enable a global agreement. The employment and economic benefits stem from building the infrastructure, cultivate the skills and develop the enterprises that will be in increasing international demand over the next few decades.
Secondly we hope Zero Carbon Britain will encourage majority world delegates to continue to press for their rights to sustainable development, through showing the barriers to rapid western de-carbonisation are not technical or economic, but are social and political.
Finally, we want to learn. COP15 is a unique watering hole attracting radical thinkers from across the globe. CAT wants to learn from the vision of other, share notes, compare methodologies, swap knowledge & experience and build on-going networks with others working in the same sphere.
As the tension mounts during the coming week, and the political pressure for a deal rises, individuals, communities, climate groups, media and governments across the globe must all raise their voice in unison to make sure it is the ‘real deal’, grounded in what the science, rather than the politics demands.
Paul Allen, 4pm Monday 14th December