December 11, 2009
Day five of the UN Climate Change Conference. American delegates are joined in Copenhagen by dozens of American NGO and hundreds of American climate activists, many of them students. The U.S. call for action is strong inside the Bella Center, where the conference is being held, and outside in the many scheduled and spontaneous events occurring in the city. Tomorrow heralds a Global Day of Action, that could attract 50,000 people or more, according to the event organizers.
The week has been framed by slow progress across all of the negotiating proposals — from how to shape a common vision for a global agreement to how to conserve the world’s forests, to how much money wealthy nations will invest to assist developing nations to make the transition to a clean energy, low carbon economy. American delegates say they are optimistic the pace will accelerate and that a significant agreement will be reached a week from today. The Obama administration is engaged in a charm offensive here, much of it staged in the 6,500-square-foot US Center, where EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson on Wednesday became the first of the president’s most senior advisors to appear at the center. In a departure from recent international climate conferences, including the preparatory meetings earlier this year, the new approach seems to be working with US delegates who appear more animated and confident, and less defensive.
Whether it works with the 191 other nations here is not clear.
President Obama, who received the Nobel Peace Prize on Thursday, arrives here on December 18, the conference’s final day. That’s noteworthy since American presidents attend such conferences to consummate agreements they and their aides previously negotiated.
USCAN is in the middle of the action here. See our Web site for videos, articles and blog posts from Copenhagen. And take a look at the Energy Rebellion report, which day in and day out reports on the vigorous action at the grassroots to seek the economic and environmental transition, the same transition sought in Copenhagen, that makes us safer and more prosperous.
Talk to you next week, Keith