Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Breaking news from Copenhagen

The COP15 plenary session was suspended today shortly after it began. Vermont Law School professor Teresa Clemmer, who heads the Vermont Law School delegation of faculty and students to COP15, just emailed an alert to check their blog; here are excerpts from the story posted by professor Laurie Beyranevand:

[T]he COP plenary commenced with the Tuvalu delegation proposing a contact group to review its [proposed] protocol . . . In no uncertain terms, Tuvalu stated it was here to “seal the deal” and wanted nothing less than a legally binding document.

[M]any of the AOSIS countries expressed great enthusiasm noting they are the states most impacted by the effects of climate change. As Cape Verde stated, “we will be the first to disappear…in this climate crisis.” Other countries strongly opposed the creation of a contact group, most notably, China, India, Saudi Arabia and Venezuela. . . .

After it was clear the parties would not reach consensus on just the issue of creating a contact group, the President announced the need to hold informal meetings with the interested parties regarding the request. In response, Tuvalu stated it would not accept the President’s ruling and asked for a suspension of the COP! The room went silent for several minutes as the President engaged in discussions with other members of the Secretariat. She then announced that the COP would be suspended until 3 p.m.

The plenary has now resumed. Click here for videos of the protests outside the plenary room, with island nations and other supporters of the Tuvalu proposal chanting "Survival! Survival!" Vermont Law School's blogs from COP15 are posted here; click "Archives" for earlier posts from Copenhagen.

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