Clashes between protestors and policy erupt outside conference center

In Uncategorized on December 16, 2009 at 1:48 pm

Police officers fired tear gas and wielded batons on Wednesday to beat back hundreds of demonstrators outside the global climate meeting here, as a police spokesman said 250 people had been arrested.

Police clash with protesters at a roadblock near the venue of the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen on Wednesday.

The police tried to disperse the chanting, drum-beating protesters who had marched from a train station about a mile away to try to make their way to the Bella Center, where representatives from nearly 200 countries are meeting to try to reach an accord on climate change. A group of 50 to 100 delegates emerged from the convention center, seeking to meet with the protesters, but they, too, were driven back by the police.

Storming Bella Center

In Uncategorized on December 16, 2009 at 8:12 am

The UN has drastically and unfarily cut the number of civil society participants that can enter the conference center. The building is essentially open to a small, small, small number of NGO’s, press, and delegates.

Several NGO’s are planning to march in protest and some even are planning to “storm the Bella Center”. 45,000 people registered for the conference, the venue really can only accomodate 15,000. Some cuts had to be made, but this is the most important international gathering to take place ever. Accountability, transparency are so important at events like these. While there is a plethora of media, NGO’s play a role in offering ideas but mandating accountability and transparency of the proceedings.

I’ll bring you pictures as they are sent to me.

Its Wednesday in Copenhagen

In Uncategorized on December 16, 2009 at 7:53 am

Its Wednesday morning in Copenhagen and time is running out for negotiators to reach a consensus before all of the heads of states arrive. Yesterday conference President Connie Hedegaard expressed out loud that Copenhagen “can fail”. The momentum towards an agreeemtn has been waxing and waning, the next two days should be interesting.

On the US side, Sen. John Kerry arrives today. More MOC’s are expected to trickle in and express to this international body that the US has done a lot more than the previous administration and considering its domestic political constraints has done all that it can. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton arrives tomorrow (Thursday) to work over China, India and possibly African leaders so that when President Obama arrives he can sign a deal. Remember, the Obama administration chose to push back the date of the President’s trip because they saw enough progress and enough momentum coming into Copenhagen for him to sign an agreement.

There’s been plenty of bad news and cynicism. Here’s a positive development. According to the NYT

Negotiators have all but completed a sweeping deal that would compensate countries for preserving forests, and in some cases, other natural landscapes like peat soils, swamps and fields that play a crucial role in curbing climate change.

This could be the most significant agreement made in Copenhagen, a case of drastically lowered expectations.