Rasmussen stressed that the delegates need to do something because the world is relying on them and that (civil society) will help them in this process, since they will be the ones facing the consequences if the delegates don't act. There has been alot of global support for a FAB deal, over 4 million people have raised their voice on the COP15 youtube channel . Rasmussen then said the world is depositing hope onto you [delegates] and we must deliver hope for the future.
Mayor Bjerrengaard voiced the same opinion, and emphasized the urgency of getting a deal in motion. Next week there will be a climate summit of mayors also here in Copenhagen where mayors from over 70 of the largest cities will be here to hopefully sign some climate agreement. Rasmussen ended her speech by asking "please seal the deal."
Mr. Yuo de Boer, started his speech by sharing a story of a 6 year old boy who was separated from his family because of a cyclone, and was reunited with his grandmother weeks after the storm and still has not found his parents or siblings. This scenario he said will keep playing out if we don't act. He then used a cake analogy to explain what we need at this conference. The bottom of the cake we need prompt adaptation strategies, REDD, capacity building, finance options and technology options, the next layer would be binding commitments and the icing would be long term cooperative action and goals. He said Copenhagen will only be successful if we have immediate action and that action needs to be solid and tangible. We have six days before ministers of countries show up then two days later leaders of countries begin to arrive, that means there is eight days to write an agreement. It is time to reach out to each other.
Dr. Rajendra Kumar Pachauri stressed that climate change is happening now and that this conference must ACT. He reiterated some of the climate projections and consequences found in the 4th IPCC Assessment. Dr Pachauri also stressed that there are viable adaptation options and the longer we wait the more costly it will be to mitigate climate change. We must have large scale mitigation actions and financing must be provided for countries and then Pachauri stressed that if we don't do something by 2015 to reduce our GHG emissions we will see some of the direst climate change scenarios play out. He also addressed the stolen letters, and explained how the IPCC process is inclusive of all climate change science, it is robust and uses peer reviewed sources, it is objective and is reviewed by scientists and governments. I talked to some representatives from Sweden's equivalent of the US's Green Party about these letters. They said that the letters have not had as large of an impact on climate skepticism in their country, but it has opened the dialogue to discuss the scientific procedure. Yet, in the US it has allowed the climate skeptics a "platform" to debunk climate change. I have realized that the US is the only country that has not fully accepted that climate change is happening and it frustrates me. Yet, the welcome ceremony gave me hope that this conference will move forward and that we will see atleast a skeleton of a treaty drawn up.
Some other thoughts/tidbits so far....
- During sessions I am usually the youngest or one of the youngest people present
- I am constantly being "watched" the number of cameras, and video cameras constantly filming this conference is INSANE... everywhere I look I can see the little red light on the video cameras and flashes from cameras.
- You can access video from the sessions and I believe on the plenary sessions at http://en.cop15.dk/
- This event at the Bella Centere is super sustainable -- there is no water bottles, 2/3 the food is organic and much of it is locally produced and instead of gifts for negotiating nations Denmark is fully funding education here in Copenhagen 11 "climate scholars" who are from around the world.
- The Copenhagen harbor is clean enough to swim in.
- Copenhagen will be the 1st carbon neutral city, their goal carbon neutrality by 2025
- 50% of Copenhagen citizens ride their bikes for commuting
Also I will be Skyping into Vicki Watson's Ecology class at 12:40 on 12.10.2009 so if you would like to ask me questions directly I recommend you attend. I will also be Skyping into Nicky Phear's climate change class at 3:40 on 12.09.2009 also that day I will likely be on MT NPR at 5:30 so tune in then. (If anyone else would like me, zach or melissa to skype in to their classroom or something let us know)
That is all for now...