Lisa Williams-Lahari and Geoffrey Smith
Thursday 17 December 2009, COPENHAGEN--The sound of hours ticking by are becoming more urgent , the frustration more palpable as Pacific negotiators and leaders eye the gap between the '1.5 to stay alive' bottom lines to a climate change agreement, and the need to 'seal the deal' here in Copenhagen. We caught up with Tuvalu's Chief Negotiator Ian Fry.
LWL: What are you going to do tomorrow if at the end of it all,coming all these miles, with all these leaders in the room, and we just get gven a list saying take it or leave it?
Ian Fry: That's not for me to decide. We have our Prime minister here and that's for him to decide how we conclude on that. Do we stay?Do we sign on to something that's pathetic or do we walk away?That's not for me to decide.
LWL: Ian it's less than 24 hours before we seal the deal. Are we really here to talk about revealing the deal given the tone of what we've been hearing?
Ian Fry:Well we've obviously got a lot of problems. Tuvalu's has brought forward a legal text to b considered at this meeting. Six months ago we brought forward proposals for a Copenhagen protocol and amendments to the Kyoto Protocol and we haven't established a process to even consider that text. So we seem to be going around in circles trying to avoid the real issues that're on the table.
LWL: So has COP15 really just been about a matter of sacrificed process?
Ian: No, we're still hopeful even in the last hours of the meeting that we can at least grab something that will come out of it. But we are very worried that it will just pass on to another meeting that we really not going to have a substantive conclusion at this meeting.
LWL:There's some talk that the arrangement is you agree to meet within the next 6 months and it all depends on the US senate. Should that even be something that we're looking at here?
Ian Fry: Well this is an unfortunate state of world politics that we being held hostage by what's happening in the US congress-- that decisions of the world are being held up by the US and that's very unfortunate. This issue is much too important for Pacific island countries who want something to happen now but unfortunately we are being held hostage and that's very, very, unfortunate.
LWL: Being held hostage and yet from the tone of many of the Pacific leaders in the plenary, it all seemed like it was just another UN meeting.
Ian Fry: Well yes but we have to come to some sort of conclusion. This is a UN meeting.This is an international process. The countriesof the world, the leaders of the world, they come to this meeting to come and reach a conclusion on how to address climate change and that's very important. So it's a UN meeting, but it's a very important UN meeting and we have to work on the basis of these sorts of meetings.
LWL: So still a glimmer of hope there?
Ian Fry: Well we hope so. I mean we still hoping that we can still get something out of this to guarantee our future but it's getting less and less likely as the hours move on.--ENDS