Saturday, December 06, 2008

Strange days at the Poland Negotiations

Well, it's been an interesting week so far. Move around the massive sprawl of the Poznan convention center and you'll come across uncommon things. Creatures even... More and more are feeling more and more anxious about the slow pace of the negotiations here, with delegates acting as if the world was not facing its most formidable crisis in recent memory. We're confronting a real countdown, as the young folks today remind us. And it's high time for climate justice.

Right after the building security, with its x-rays and so on, you'll come across this poor polar bear with a very smart plea - "No coins. It's change I need..." But no one seems to be sharing with the lonely animal any change - not even small change if the exchanges taking place in various plenaries are any indication.

There's a lot of anger generated by the indifference largely coming from countries such as Canada and Japan and the US (it's still Bush who's calling the shots, and who knows whether Obama's "Yes we can!" slogan will become "Yes we can screw things up further!" if US big business interests will continue to hold sway in Washington).

"The CDM is a lose-lose proposition that has become a corrupt and cheap way for the rich North to avoid making real emission reductions," said Tom Goldtooth today in a press event organized by the organized he heads, the Indigenous Environment Network (IEN). Goldtooth called on delegates not to expand the Clean Development Mechanism CDM), and to dump it instead.

Yuyun Ismawati of Balifokus echoed IEN's call, saying "CDM projects only create illusions and false hope for local governments." In our experience, Ismawati said, CDM "procedures and all activities related to the project application mostly beneifted only consultants, auditors and investors."

Much is expected of official delegates here in Poznan, though the international goal should be quite simple: agree on measures that will keep global temperature increase as far below 2 degrees Celsius as possible. We need to make representatives of our governments know and feel that we are watching them!

This will require massive cuts in emissions, beginning in the developed world. It will also require massive amounts of money for adaptation flowing towards those who need it most - because climate change is already taking place and there are impacts that are already unavoidable. The fight we confront, however, is the fight to prevent irreversible damage to the Earth's climate. The thin red line is called 2 degrees. We must not pass it.

Life as we know it - the future of all creatures (humans, animals, plants and delegates) is at stake.

That's Abigail by the way, smiling from beneath the Orangutan costume. I caught her walking by her lonesome, along the corridor reserved for humans, swinging her arms to and fro and doing a very good impression of Senyor Long Arms.

It's fun here at the convention center of Poznan, but it's also quite bleak. Humans need to be protected from the failures of... who else? More humans. #

No comments: