Leaving Logan

December 14, 2009

We’ve all arrived at the airport, with an hour before our plane takes off to Copenhagen and the excitement is palpable.  For the past week I’ve been glued to my computer screen reading the International Institute of Sustainable Development’s (IISD) daily Earth Bulletin.  These reports cover the conference in better detail and less filtered than any other news source out there.  (And Anna Shultz, a Fletcher PhD student, works as one of its main contributors).  I highly recommend you check it out, particularly the “In the Corridors” section at the end of every edition.

The conference has proven more exciting than many people anticipated.  First the leaked Danish proposal caused a controversy especially among many developing countries.  Then Tuvalu responded with its own version of a post-2012 framework.  And yesterday, hundreds if not thousands of people marched from the center of town to the Bella Center where the conference takes place to call for leaders to take a stand and ensure a positive outcome from the conference.  “The climate must change for us to really address Climate Change” rallied one participant.  Unfortunately, now going into the last week of the negotiations, few countries have budged much on their original positions.  Negotiators will have their work cut out for them to produce return to their home countries with solid results from COP 15.

For my own research, it appears that the main carbon offsetting tool, the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM), will continue in some form in the post-Kyoto framework, but in what form, no one can tell as of yet.  Negotiators will continue to address offsetting frameworks, saying which sections are acceptable, negotiable, and unacceptable.  I’ll be reporting on these developments further as the conference winds down and results begin to appear.

And this is just from the main negotiations.  Some argue the real show occurs in the hundreds of side events going on both on site and around the Danish capital.  35,000 climate experts from NGOs and IGOs have signed up for the conference, meaning there will be a lot of opportunities for informal conversations with some the leading experts in these areas. Once on ground, we’ll be able to provide better details about the real Copenhagen experience.

They’re calling for our flight to board.  Off we go!

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