I just ran into senator John Kerry as he walked from one event to another. He’s giving a talk at 1:15 entitled “The Critical Role of a global Deal in Advancing U.S Legislation.”
He’s almost always followed by a parade of cameras, journalists, and delegates…

By Angel Hsu and Luke Bassett, part of ‘Team China’ tracking the Chinese delegation a the Copenhagen climate negotiations. These posts are originally being featured on Green Leap Forward and also cross-posted on Climateprogress.org and the Yale Center for Environmental Law and Policy blog.

Both Team China and Copenhagen are under the weather as a wet snowfall hit in the early afternoon.  We are starting to feel the palpable stress of country delegations to remove brackets and whittle down the negotiating text in preparation for the high-level ministerial meetings on Dec. 17-18, when 110 heads of states will participate. Additionally, the Bella Center…

Here in the LCA Plenary hall, waiting for what should be the final meeting of the LCA to begin, originally scheduled for 7-9pm this evening. Many NGOs have gone home but there are still easily over 150 people in the room. A Swedish Youth NGO is trying to lead Parties in a sing-song and the head of the Ghanaian delegation behind me is waving a plastic wand and muttering about a COP15-bis.

Apparently the issue revolves around language on developed country mitigation in the Chair’s text. This was in the original version released on Friday, but was taken out and replaced with a placeholder in the version from this morning. The Chair re-inserted it tonight after protests from developing countries and not receiving any political guidance from the ministerial…

During the course of the semester, I have been studying various aspects of REDD with my pod. Since being at the COP, I have attended a number of side-events on REDD implementation, but have not been incredibly impressed with their content. Today I attended a side-event hosted by World Resources Institute (WRI) which tied into some of the research I have recently been doing on Readiness Preparation Proposals (R-PPs) mandated by the Forest Carbon Partnership Facility (FCPF) under the umbrella of the World Bank. R-PPs include detailed assessments of the drivers of deforestation and degradation, terms of reference for defining their baseline emissions levels, and plans to establish an MRV system. The side event hosted by WRI spotlighted Guyana, a country that is taking action, having completed its R-PP and…

I have been following the progress of negotiations on the Kyoto protocol. Although calling it “progress” might be too generous. After hours of deliberating, the parties’ positions are so distant and entrenched that a fleet of bulldozers would be needed to bring them any closer. Oh, and we have until tonight to reach an agreement. How can anything be agreed when the developing countries want to make second commitment period targets conditional upon legally-binding, economy-wide commitments by the US? (We know how likely that is.) When no one knows what to do about the “hot air” undermining Kyoto’s already fraught environmental integrity. When you can hear the fragile truce between G77 and the developed countries strain ominously each time Japan declares that having two climate change agreements operating concurrently is…

In the last session of the ‘Development and Climate day’ that was organized by IIED, three high-level panelists – President Nasheed of Maldives, Hon. Batilda Burian, Tanzania’s Minister for Environment, and Hon. Charity Ngilu, Kenya’s Minister of Water and Irrigation – told the audience what the most vulnerable countries want from the Copenhagen negotiations.

President Nasheed wants the international community to “STOP TALKING”. For the last fourteen years experts have been negotiating a common ground – to no avail. He called for the global community to do start acting! President Nasheed said his country has taken a lead by declaring emissions cut that would make Maldives carbon neutral within the next 10 years. He advocated for adaptation measures that use softer, viable, and cheaper methods as hard engineering has…

As you all know, Copenhagen talks were held up all day yesterday because of the position of the LDCs and Africa Group that they wanted the Kyoto Protocol track resolved before continuing under the LCA. After a long-delayed plenary session in which COP President Connie Hedegaard emphasized the commitment to transparency, openness and due process, Parties agreed to resume negotiations in the late afternoon through a series of Ministerial consultations on particular sticking points, in particular:

– Annex 1 commitments under the Kyoto Protocol (it was KEY for developing countries, concerned that the KP will expire and be collapsed into the LCA track, that this be taken up first)

– Long-term financing for mitigation and adaptation

– Long term term emission reduction goal, its relation to sustainable…

By Angel Hsu and Luke Bassett, part of ‘Team China’ tracking the Chinese delegation a the Copenhagen climate negotiations. These posts are originally being featured on Green Leap Forward and also cross-posted on Climateprogress.org and the Yale Center for Environmental Law and Policy blog.

Our fingers have finally thawed out after waiting two hours outside the Bella Center (can you spot us in the picture to the right?)- the nexus of COP activity, so that we are be able to bring you the latest updates on China in Copenhagen.  The weekend proved slow for the COP, owing much to the distraction


Batilda Burian, Minister for Environment, United Republic of Tanzania, discusses the African walk-out during the COP Plenary on December 14, 2009, speaking at Climate and Development Days.

As part of our COP15 class this semester at FES, our Pod has been working with Ecuador. During the past months, we mostly focused on sectoral approaches to mitigation, and how certain schemes could translate for the country. At the COP, we have transitioned into being extra eyes and ears for the understaffed, overworked Ecuadorian delegation. An FES alumna – now the head of climate change for Ecuador – has been our main contact. Their delegation consists of about ten people – roughly one-seventh the number that Yale has sent as observers.

With the trend in open-turned-closed sessions and limited NGO access, I feel like I learn more about the negotiations from the Earth Negotiations Bulletin and through random contacts than from physically being here. Seeing how these international…