8:57 AM Copenhagen Time Update: Miliband's footnote solution, China sitting on it's hands
Someone is gonna die. It's 9:04 am, and this thing is still going. I am sitting on a couch outside the Plenary, seriously worried that one of these 60-year old diplomats who has pulled three all-nighters in the past four days might just keel over.
Right now, although I believe passionately in the UN and its ideals, this is the most screwed up meeting I have ever seen, and that is saying something for someone who has had exposure to US third party politics.
Here is where things are at:
President Obama, presumably ignorant as to the bizarre sociology of these UN meetings, screwed up big-time by going on TV and announcing a "meaningful deal" before the vast majority of countries here had even seen the text he helped hammer out. As the G-77 walked out of one of their plenary sessions, there was Obama announcing "we have a deal." Many were stunned to see this and took great exception at the breach of protocol.
Then, after pulling two-consecutive all-nighters, the Danish PM, heading up the conference convenes all the delegates, many of whom had never seen the text of the "Copenhagen Accord", and says, here you go, take a look at this and let us know your thoughts in one hour. A number of countries went ballistic, including Sudan, who strangely was one of the countries that produced the Copenhagen Accord who likened the process and document to the Holocaust.
There seems to be two serious options at the moment, and one creative way forward put forth by UK Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change Ed Miliband.
- Adoption: The Conference of the Parties adopt the Copenhagen Accord.
- Rejection: The Conference of the Parties chose to just include the Copenhagen Accord as a miscellaneous submission to be filed somewhere not too important, and to have a Cop 15.5 in 6 months or so.
The UN is a consensus organ, and so over the course of this meeting tonight/this morning, just one or a few parties have been able to completely hold hostage the rest of the world on moving forward.
Ed Miliband has proposed an elegant solution: Take option 1, and include as a footnote those countries that object. In effect, put your hand up if you object, and you won't get any money.
The countries that want a 15.5 are:
- Saudi Arabia
The poor Danish Prime Minister does not look good at all. He is dangerously sleep-deprived and basically being propped up at the moment by a seasoned looking veteran diplomat, who whispers in his ear what to say. I think it is a pretty safe bet Denmark will never again apply to host another of these UN climate change meetings as long as he is Prime Minister.
In the future, these meetings should be run by professionals who know all the players and issues, as this is not working.
The UN honchos and Danish PM are huddled on the main plenary stage in a legal pow-wow it appears fleshing out Miliband's footnote solution. I am hoping the delegates will show some mercy, and take Miliband's elegant solution.