Skip to main content

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.

---

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.

---

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).

---

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.

---

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.

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.

Popular posts from this blog

How Nanomaterials Can Make Nuclear Reactors Safer and More Efficient

The following is a guest post from Matt Wald, senior communications advisor at NEI. Follow Matt on Twitter at @MattLWald.

From the batteries in our cell phones to the clothes on our backs, "nanomaterials" that are designed molecule by molecule are working their way into our economy and our lives. Now there’s some promising work on new materials for nuclear reactors.

Reactors are a tough environment. The sub atomic particles that sustain the chain reaction, neutrons, are great for splitting additional uranium atoms, but not all of them hit a uranium atom; some of them end up in various metal components of the reactor. The metal is usually a crystalline structure, meaning it is as orderly as a ladder or a sheet of graph paper, but the neutrons rearrange the atoms, leaving some infinitesimal voids in the structure and some areas of extra density. The components literally grow, getting longer and thicker. The phenomenon is well understood and designers compensate for it with a …

Missing the Point about Pennsylvania’s Nuclear Plants

A group that includes oil and gas companies in Pennsylvania released a study on Monday that argues that twenty years ago, planners underestimated the value of nuclear plants in the electricity market. According to the group, that means the state should now let the plants close.

Huh?

The question confronting the state now isn’t what the companies that owned the reactors at the time of de-regulation got or didn’t get. It’s not a question of whether they were profitable in the '80s, '90s and '00s. It’s about now. Business works by looking at the present and making projections about the future.

Is losing the nuclear plants what’s best for the state going forward?

Pennsylvania needs clean air. It needs jobs. And it needs protection against over-reliance on a single fuel source.


What the reactors need is recognition of all the value they provide. The electricity market is depressed, and if electricity is treated as a simple commodity, with no regard for its benefit to clean air o…

Why Nuclear Plant Closures Are a Crisis for Small Town USA

Nuclear plants occupy an unusual spot in the towns where they operate: integral but so much in the background that they may seem almost invisible. But when they close, it can be like the earth shifting underfoot.

Lohud.com, the Gannett newspaper that covers the Lower Hudson Valley in New York, took a look around at the experience of towns where reactors have closed, because the Indian Point reactors in Buchanan are scheduled to be shut down under an agreement with Gov. Mario Cuomo.


From sea to shining sea, it was dismal. It wasn’t just the plant employees who were hurt. The losses of hundreds of jobs, tens of millions of dollars in payrolls and millions in property taxes depressed whole towns and surrounding areas. For example:

Vernon, Vermont, home to Vermont Yankee for more than 40 years, had to cut its municipal budget in half. The town closed its police department and let the county take over; the youth sports teams lost their volunteer coaches, and Vernon Elementary School lost th…