Copenhagen blog 13: Time to turn this round | World Development Movement

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Copenhagen blog 13: Time to turn this round

By Guest, 17 December 2009

Tim Jones, used to be policy officer

From Copenhagen

A thick covering of snow has arrived in Copenhagen. The white powder helps to lift excitement from the dire situation in the negotiations.

Only 300 observers are now allowed into the convention centre, but early this morning I squeezed in as part of the Climate Justice Now contingent. However, there has been precious little to observe. Official negotiations have resumed, but are mainly behind closed doors. And the more important discussions are happening even further out of sight.

Ed Miliband was reported as calling for more substance to the negotiations or the Copenhagen outcome would be a “farce”. This was followed by Gordon Brown making his set-piece speech. Lots of lists of three and contrasting pairs made it a rhetorical tour de force. But the complete lack of substance certainly fulfilled Ed’s prophesy of farce.

Some of my colleagues on the inside are experienced campaigners from world trade negotiations. They say the talks in Copenhagen now share all the aggression, bullying and bribery rich countries have exercised for years at the WTO. One even commented that this is worse than the WTO. So this afternoon we compiled a dossier exposing the parallels. Have a read to get a different insight on what is happening.

In his speech, French President Nicholas Sarkozy was more entertaining than Mr Brown, if you like black comedy. He told delegates (through a translator): “Let me tell my African friends, you will be first to suffer if we do not reach a deal.”

The strategy of the EU and US is now clear; use the pressure which has been built in Copenhagen, along with some small bribes and arm twisting, to secure the bad deal they want.

I do not want these negotiations to collapse. I have met people in the Philippines on the front line of the devastation climate change is and will bring. But rich countries are pushing a deal which would lock the world into disastrous increases in temperature, whilst increasing injustice.

Maybe a miraculous turn around can happen overnight, with rich countries committing to deep cuts in their own emissions and to find the money needed to help developing countries cope with climate change, governed in a way that is democratic, transparent and accountable to both people and governments.

Maybe. But if not, let us hope the bad deal is not agreed, that the blocking of rich countries is exposed, and that in 2010 we can campaign for a turning around, a redemption, to take place.

Read 'Bullying and bribery in Copenhagen are wrecking the climate'

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