Exclusive: Copenhagen off to a poor start

By Daniel Dielsen
0 CommentsPrint E-mail China.org.cn, December 8, 2009
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A bomb scare the day before COP15 and a half-hour delay to the opening ceremony have conspired to make the start of the climate summit, if not disastrous, then at least far from a raging success.

About 1000 people were shut out of the opening session of the conference due to a lack of space. In total, 34,000 people have requested access to the venue, the Bella Center, which has room only for 15,000 people.

COP15 president Connie Hedegaard, Denmark's former Climate and Energy Minister, urged delegates at the opening ceremony to "mark this historic meeting and open the door to a CO2-poor future."

She focused specifically on the question of financing emission reducation targets, a pointed reference to developed countries helping developing countries set and meet CO2 emissions reduction targets.

Hedegaard also rejected the notion that the economy would suffer in the fight against climate change, insisting that a global agreement would create jobs and increase competition, especially in the renewable energy sector.

Elsewhere, as the conference sparked into action, Saudi Arabia's chief negotiator Mohammed Al-Sabban demanded his country be compensated for lost oil revenues if the climate change deal affects that indrusty. He cited the leaked emails about falsified climate change research at the University of East Anglia as evidence that gloal warming is not man-made.

Another highlight of the opening day was Leah Wickham from Fiji, who represents grass roots climate justice organization "tckt tck tck." She broke down crying at a meeting because she was so concerned about the effects of climate change on sea-levels.

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