Copenhagen Update by Kartikeya Singh
December 14, 2009 Copenhagen Update: Talks have come to a standstill here in Copenhagen on the first day of the final week. As the clock ticks, and the voices of youth echo across the halls of the Bella Center, it is becoming increasingly apparent that the negotiations may not be able to resolve some of the key issues plaguing the planet.
Panic has gripped the negotiators who feel that if the process does not reach maturity before the arrival of over 100 Heads of State on Wednesday, then the only outcome of the Copenhagen talks will be a weakened political agreement, undoing 18 years of negotiations.
What has brought us to this point? For starters, developed countries have not been able to deliver on their promises. Now at a conference which is heavy with the weight of delivering, nations of the African Union fear that we will have come out with a new deal under the Long-Term Cooperative Action (LCA) track rather than finalizing on the amendments to the Kyoto Protocol (thereby negating all the commitments of the Annex 1 since the operationalisation of the process). The support of their decision to stall the LCA track by China and many other nations has meant that the negotiations are stalled. All technical and informal meetings have been delayed and then cancelled while ministers (representatives of the developed and developing world) consult on the process of moving forward and determining how to resolve the commitments of Annex 1 countries under the Kyoto Protocol.
There are a few nations however who cannot afford to have the talks stalled -- Maldives is one of them and as the President made a plea for working groups to begin to resolve the issue and move forward, his calls fell on deaf ears. Meanwhile Maldives along with other island nations and countries of the "Least Developed Country" (LDC) status struggle to ensure that the language of the LCA text (as it currently stands) retains the target of 350ppm or 1.5 degrees Celsius as the upper level limits of this climate crisis. Its 6:17pm on Monday and it is still a back and forth on the way to move forward. The work of the Kyoto Protocol track had to be completed last Friday (and still isnt) and the work of the LCA was to be finished late tonight and we are still unsure of it moving forward today. Outside the faces are sullen and confused. As it stands now, Copenhagen will not yield the desired outcome of millions who are living on the brink of climate disaster.
Kartikeya Singh is a climate youth activist with Delhi Greens.