Update from Inside – Chaotic and Tense

There is little encouraging news from inside the Bella Center today. Last night some drafting groups continued but with little progress. In parallel sessions at the high level, heads of state met from 24 countries with broad regional representation and there was consensus that some sort of deal should be possible. Working off of the Danish text, technical drafters worked through the night, hoping to arrive at a deal to present to regional constituencies for this morning. Unfortunately they were unable to come to any agreement and stopped work at paragraph 3 of 13.

Rumors are that another high-level group based on the so-called “Copenhagen Commitment Circle” convened by Australia and the UK have also come up with a text. The problem is that the process for producing this has no legitimacy within the UNFCCC and there is no guarantee it would be accepted by countries not represented in the production of it. Many are angry that such a process was going ahead at all.

Obama has arrived and leaders are gathering in the main Plenary Hall for what is apparently the largest gathering of Heads of State outside New York ever. The session is already 1.5 hours late and most negotiators, with little else to do, are either getting some sleep or waiting to watch the beginning of the segment. What the Heads will do, apart from take a picture together, remains undecided – which is apparently unprecedented for such a gathering.