Author Archive

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.

Verification Impasse

In Uncategorized on December 15, 2009 at 7:54 am

The NYT reports this morning of an impasse between the US and China over verification. Thought I’d share the link with all of you, but it’s got me asking what else now?

Dispatch from Copenhagen

In COP15, Young voices on December 15, 2009 at 2:11 am

The climate change talks taking place in Copenhagen are on life support. One week in to the conference, and with one week to go, progress towards a worthwhile climate change deal has been slow. In order to salvage COP15, negotiators will have to double down in order to reach a deal.

Monday’s major news was a group of African nations walking out on negotiations and in dramatic fashion – late in the evening hour – choosing to come back to the negotiating table. Last week it was reported that the Danish government had met with a group of rich nations including the US outside of the formal process and agreed to a draft “text”. A text that could eventually become the agreement that the Copenhagen conference produces. Several poor nations were angered by what they perceived as a backdoor deal that favored rich nations. The mood has been sour and souring ever since, culminating in today’s walkout.

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Daily Digest – December 1st

In Daily Digest on December 1, 2009 at 10:11 pm

Still hope for US and China position to evolve

The U.N.’s environment chief said Tuesday he is optimistic that the climate change talks beginning in Copenhagen next week will reach a deal setting firm targets to cut carbon emissions.

Recent offers by the United States and China appear modest compared with European Union proposals and scientists’ demands, but probably represent only first offers, said Achim Steiner, director of the U.N. Environment Program.

New Report: How the EU can get to 40%

EU leaders asking China for more details on its emissions plan

China should provide details on how it will implement its greenhouse gas limits and offer further proposals commensurate with its status as the world’s largest emitter, European leaders said Tuesday.

China promised Thursday to nearly halve the ratio of pollution to GDP over the next decade — a major voluntary step that came a day after President Barack Obama promised the U.S. would lay out plans at this month’s global warming conference in Copenhagen to substantially cut its own greenhouse gas emissions.

Will India make its move now?

Recent pledges by the United States and China to cut carbon emissions are now propelling India to make its own commitment to slow greenhouse gas emissions and go into the upcoming Copenhagen climate summit with a firm proposal on reductions.

The move marks a significant shift for India, which has previously said more established, wealthier nations should bear the brunt of carbon cuts rather than emerging nations whose economies are less developed.

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Young Voices – Yaicha Bookhout

In Young voices on November 30, 2009 at 11:57 pm


My name is Yaicha Bookhout and I’m a student at the University of Montana in the undergraduate Environmental Studies Program and minoring in Climate Change Studies. I will be attending the COP15 conference in Copenhagen and will be representing the EVST department at UM as well as Montana’s youth voice at the international conference. I’m passionate making young voices heard because it is important to have our generation. It’s important because youth will be picking up all the pieces if our current leaders fail. I am very lucky to attend this unprecedented conference; I was selected by the Environmental Studies Program and received grants to fund my travels.

 Our college cares about what is happening in Copenhagen because at UM there is a large commitment to creating a more sustainable college. To read more about sustainable initiatives happening at UM read my article on NewWest at The campus group University of Montana’s Climate Action Now (UMCAN) is committed to advocating sustainability, clean energy and green jobs to our political leaders. We are also helping create a more sustainable campus by initiating programs such as the Revolving Energy Loan Fund, UM Forum for Appropriated Technology and more. It’s a really exciting time to be involved in a movement that will determine our future. I’m glad that our University and many others around the country are starting to make this an important issue. Since there is so much going on at the local level, it gives me even more hope and empowerment to help create change. I think this issue will be our generation’s time to shine!


To learn more about the EVST program and to follow my COP15 blog vist here.


To learn more about the climate change minor go here.

The US Climate Change Lobby

In COP15, Young voices on November 30, 2009 at 10:40 pm

Dan Reicher, director of climate change and energy initiatives at Google, summed up the effort to pass a U.S. climate-change bill as an “epic, epic struggle.”

This summer, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a climate-change bill that aims to reduce carbon emissions and make investments in renewable energy. The Senate has recently taken up the task of stitching together a bill and, well, the positive and the frustrating aspects of the American political process are on full display. Climate-change legislation languishes and wallows in several Senate committees, and the vested interest of the few hold it captive. Recently, top Democrats said there likely won’t be any climate-change legislation until next year.

This legislative impasse has an immense, tragic importance for young people.

It would all be inconsequential if it wasn’t absolutely urgent for the United States to act and act soon. In one week, 192 nations will meet in Copenhagen to forge one of the most difficult international agreements ever — a comprehensive climate-change treaty. The Copenhagen conference is seen by many as one of the last opportunities for the world to lock in a process that reduces greenhouse gases in time to stave off disaster.

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Daily Digest – November 30th

In Daily Digest on November 30, 2009 at 10:11 pm

India, stubborn on carbon emissions targets

Top Indian officials dismissed a draft climate change proposal by Denmark that expects developing economies to peak their greenhouse gas emissions by 2025, news reports said Monday.

The draft document was circulated to a few countries ahead of the Dec. 7-18 summit in Copenhagen, which is supposed to draw up an agreement for controlling emissions of carbon dioxide and other gases causing global warming.


Will rich countries commit to climate financing for poor countries?

The EU was accused of threatening the global climate talks last night after confidential papers showed it wants existing overseas aid funding to be used to help poor countries adapt to global warming, not new and additional funds


Big developing countries unite on climate change

A clutch of major emerging economies including China and India have forged a united front to put pressure on developed countries at next month’s climate change negotiations in Copenhagen.

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In Uncategorized on November 18, 2009 at 2:55 pm

I’m currently in Argetina, so for those of you who have noticed no new content for the past couple days I apologize.

But I promise new posts soon, and since I’m in Argentina you’ll see some items related to the country.