Copenhagen COP15 Progress Report: None?
Photo via Paigefiller
With four days left, just about everyone seems fed up with the stunted progress of the Copenhagen talks: rich and developing countries still can't agree on emissions targets or monitoring systems--or anything, it seems. Activists are tiring out. Yvo de Boer, the UN official in charge of running the show, has taken to showing up to meetings wearing a life preserver. Our own correspondents on the ground are frustrated, to say the least. Here's what could happen next.The New York Times sums up the tense proceedings:
With less than four days left in the two-week conference, a new draft negotiating text circulating among delegates reflected the wide gulf over those issues and others like monitoring emissions of heat-trapping gases. The United States and China remained at a tense impasse over China's refusal to accept international monitoring on its turf.The paper then proceeds to detail what remains on the horizon for the talks. I'll summarize here, via the Times:
- Prime Minister Gordon Brown of Britain was expected to arrive Tuesday afternoon, two days ahead of schedule, in an effort to move the talks forward.
- The Danish presidency of the conference asked nations to pair up -- one from a developing country, and one from an industrialized nation-- and seek jointly to push other countries to make progress on some of the most difficult issues that still must be resolved.
- Al Gore called on Obama to set an April 22nd deadline (Earth Day) for passing climate legislation in the US, which could have an impact on the talks
- The official conference attended by world leaders in Copenhagen's Bella Center begun today--45,000 journalists and environmental groups applied for entrance, 3 times the place's capacity. Agreements may still be reached here.
- Many world leaders, like Obama, have yet to arrive, and could potentially give talks a boost.
Of course, we'll have to wait and see what exactly can be hammered out in these last few pressure-filled days. Also, there's an argument that the high profile nature of the event has served to turn the world's focus on climate change, and that alone can be viewed as progress, for the glass-half-full types among us out there.