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December 2009
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Plane Talking



It was somewhat surreal that as we were leaving the Bella Centre last night after another day’s discussions on global warming, it was snowing heavily. The city looks rather magical this morning and I can tell you this because the city is all we can see – we have been kicked out of the Bella Centre as the unexpectedly large number of world leaders (and their security) start to arrive.

Over the past few days, the restrictions on numbers entering the centre have got tighter and tighter. On Monday, some people who had not yet registered waited for nine hours in line to get in. On Tuesday and Wednesday, the non-governmental organisations were restricted to 7,000 people – from a total of 18,000 the week before. Today that has been cut back again, to 300. Those select few (including our Executive Director) are only allowed in to the first section of the centre – nowhere near the heads of state or country delegations.

Some, like the above, attempted to stay overnight and therefore not have to leave and be refused entry this morning. They were not successful.

So, where does this leave any Copenhagen Climate Agreement? The truth is, we don’t know. Due to a series of tactical errors by the Danish chairmanship of the process, the talks which had been plodding along nicely were stalled in a political mess for the last two days. There are reports that the Danish Prime Minister’s office is in chaos this morning. Hillary Clinton in a press conference has just said that President Obama may not come "if there is nothing for him to come for".

We are having to wait and see, just like everyone else.