The last day: endless bad news


Early this morning, my friend from the UNFCCC said that the Convention’s long-term cooperation special task group meeting lasted till 5 a.m. without any progress. This confirmed what was said by the previous negotiator. Last night, this negotiator told me that the day-long negotiations on the 18th would not make much progress,

Whereas at another track, due to lack of support right from the beginning, the special task group meeting of the Kyoto Protocol on the 15th was held for only half an hour when it went into closed negotiation. Afterwards, there was not even any sign of rumours to speak of.

Las night, 28 countries worked through the night and managed an agreement. This might well be what is called a ‘transitional’ result. What has not yet been agreed will have to wait.

In the afternoon’s heads of states speeches, all the interested parties were still blaming each other in a tit-for-tat fashion.

After a thousand entreaties, Obama appeared, and spoke with the hope of the whole world on his shoulders. The result was downright disappointing. Throughout his whole speech, Obama was ashen faced, and in a so-and-so-and-whatever manner, it was like he had a quarrel with someone before he appeared.

He said that he came to Copenhagen to act, not to make pointless talks. But according to a Chinese reporter, many felt that the content of his whole speech was emptier than the rice bowls of the African refugees.

Obama’s ‘main economic’ concept was clearly to allocate the ‘four main developing countries’ over to the camp of the developed countries.

He also said that as long as there is reduction in emission, as long as there is transparency, there will be aid. This is very different to Prime Minister Wen Jiabao’s speech, which was made before Obama’s. As a result, it was said in the press lobby that the Chinese cannot tolerate this, and a response is needed.

The interesting thing is that before the heads of states speeches, it was widely rumoured amongst the Chinese delegation that Prime Minister Wen was to hold an internal press conference with the Chinese reporters. A friend firmly believed this. He said he saw those from the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs moving tables, as if in full combat readiness. I bet with him that Wen would not come.

My analysis is that to do this is very risky. To go to the Chinese News and Exchange Centre from anywhere in Bella Centre, one has to pass through public spaces. At this critical juncture, the several thousand reporters from around the world were staring at the Chinese leader like rats having been starved for two weeks. It was impossible for them not to crowd towards him. If this happens in a small press room, Prime Minister Wen will not even have an escape route. Moreover, there are only several simple boards along the sides in that press room with no ceiling. If something happened, it would be an extremely embarrassing situation.

I won in the end. Of course, without Prime Minister Wen’s press conference, it was bad news for the conference and for the reporters.

But Prime Minister Wen delayed going back to China, and instead was having a closed meeting with Obama. It seems that the negotiation is not in an ordinary kind of trouble.

Following to the customs of COP, this time it is again very likely that negotiations will last till morning of the 19th. Anyhow, the leaders have come, and probably they will also sign something. But they still need to hold out in some outstanding issues on specific details. No one will dare to give way until the last moment. Otherwise, they run the danger of ‘selling’ their own countries.

How sad when one thinks about this. Clearly this is a disaster for all to work together, but instead they behaved as if gambling for interests. Humankind’s selfish instinct has won over morality and rationality. It seems that this has not changed since antiquity. It was like this with the Israeli Palestinian conflict. It was like this with the two world wars in the last century, and it was the same with the messy wars in Europe in the last one thousand years.

Obama and Wen Jiabao are not saviours of the world, but who then can save Copenhagen?

Just now, rumours from the Climate Group experts said that today’s talks will not get any closer. It is likely that they will be delayed again and again.

Those who endured and got blood-shot eyes are still waiting for good news in the wake of hopelessness, even though no one really believes in miracles.