Tuesday, 15 December 2009

Behind the glam of the opening, COP15 reaches tipping point

Lisa Williams-Lahari, Freelance journalist, Climate Pasifika 
Copenhagen, 15 December - Pacific delegates and others who have left tropical climes to come to Denmark for this much awaited event took a break -- albeit short-- from AOSIS disappointment over slow progress in negotiations today. Instead, they got excited about the first snowfall in Copenhagen since they arrived. But apart from the snow outside, and the opening ceremony lineup inside -- and as their families wake up to another day on the other side of the world, here in the chill of a Copenhagen winter night, the sweating over text continued for negotiators struggling past clashing mandates and competing positions to try and avoid the worst case scenario: no deal at all.

COP15 Chair Connie Hedegaard and UNFCCC's Yvo de Boer shared the opening ceremony limelight with the Prince of Wales and 2004 Nobel laureate Dr. Wangari Maathai. Tonight , as 'Hopenhagen' held out for the glam of the cultural welcome ceremony hosted by the Danish Prime Minister Lars Løkke Rasmussen and UN Sec.Gen BAN Ki-moon, negotiators, drafters, text-experts and their support teams continue to labour over what is shaping up to be a very long night.

Photo: David Ngatae, Myra Moeka'a-Patai, Trevor Pitt and Liz Wright-Koteka in speech drafting mode as Pacific leaders begin taking the podium for national statements tomorrow, Wednesday 16th December. (Photo: Rikana Toroma).

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