Wednesday, December 09, 2009

COP15: Leaks, AREVA and Tree People

20091208131 Our impression reading the daily news wrap-ups about COP15 is that everyone is holding their breaths over the arrival of the world leaders next week and that this first week has more the trappings of a, um, conventional convention – that is, trade show displays, break-out meetings on different topics, people dressed in Styrofoam tree costumes giving out flyers – that kind of thing.

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Probably the element gaining most attention is a leaked version of the final document, or at least Denmark’s version of same, which appears to heavily favor the developed over the developing world. (You can read the leaked document here and decide for yourself.) As you can imagine, this has gone over poorly:

[Chairman of the G-77 Lumumba Stanislaus] Di-Aping, a Somali by birth, is reported to have told an urgently-called, closed meeting of 100 countries that the draft was tantamount to asking the G-77 to ‘sign a suicide pact,’ adding that the Danish draft was ‘worse than no deal’ and urging attending countries to firmly reject the proposals.

We suspect that even if second thoughts didn’t emerge over the document and it was presented next week in this leaked version, developing countries would be as angry then as now and would not vote for it – extremely inopportune. So better to give it an airing now – perhaps why it got leaked in advance.

“If Copenhagen ends as a fiasco, the entire Scandinavian multi-lateral tradition will be in jeopardy. What your prime minister is doing runs contrary to the spirit of development aid that Denmark and the Danes have provided for Africa for many years,” Di-Aping says.

That’s pretty angry.

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The Council of Foreign Relations has done an interesting round-up of some of the countries involved in the conference and their various negotiating points. There’s one explicit mention of nuclear energy, in the entry for South Korea:

The government previously signaled (Korea Times) it will work toward achieving this reduction through the promotion of bio- and nuclear energy, energy efficient technologies, and possibly through the introduction of daylight savings.

But it’s all quite interesting and well sourced and gives you a nice scorecard to use in judging the who what where when as the final document comes together next week (assuming it isn’t the Danish one, of course).

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Where you have a conference, you have protesters. Treehugger provides a nice slideshow of some of the fun stunts and costumes activists of various stripes have utilized to make their points. We like Treehugger’s attempt to keep a balanced view:

As COP15 moves into day two things are starting to heat up a little bit on the protest side of things. Perhaps heat up is too strong. Things are starting to come to a simmer. Yesterday saw a couple activist stunts, by the likes of Avaaz. Today saw a string of them, plus a bed-in in honor of John Lennon's assassination anniversary.

That’s going to be pretty arcane to younger people, but fine. The slideshow includes the tree people, my favorites so far.

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AREVA is following the conference on its blog. As a nuclear “pure play” company, AREVA is allowed to be unconflicted about various climate change efforts, but it could also be neutral and is not.

AREVA has long been a corporate voice championing large-scale global transitions to CO2-free clean energy, and that the planet needs to wean itself off of older dirtier fuels of our past. We hope to be a vital presence at the event. And will post our thoughts and progress here.

Good stuff, even if you take your corporate shades off.

Tree people. A shame they don’t have apples to give out.

2 comments:

Jarret Adams said...

Hi Mark,
Good post and thanks for the shout out. You can check out all of our coverage at http://us.arevablog.com.

DocForesight said...

I suspect that if the Tree-people were to give out apples, they would be of the "road apple" variety - organic, of course, in keeping with quality of dialog between parties at COP15.

Also in keeping with diplomacy and quality dialog, the Americans for Prosperity meeting was interrupted by shouting, chanting and disruptive behavior by "plants" in the crowd.

Ah, those heady days of yore when "free speech" reigned supreme. The inversion of tolerance on display.