Sitting in our hotel lobby, there’s a sombre atmosphere amongst our fellow campaigners who alternately reach for the large communal pot of steaming coffee in an attempt to keep alert. Most have been up all night, eyes glued to the internet.
The culmination of the UN climate change talks in Copenhagen, and a seminal point in the history of activism on climate change, was too much to resist, even if the proposed accord fell far short of our expectations.
It is hard to believe that scarcely a week has passed since we arrived in Copenhagen on a coach with 30 other CAFOD volunteers and campaigners. It has been something of a rollercoaster, with many high points interspersed with a few low ones.
Getting to know Clare, Paul, Sr Alphonsus and some of the other CAFOD volunteers you’ve heard from over the past week has been inspirational. They’ve carried us CAFOD staff with them in their enthusiasm, their passion, and their unrelenting commitment. They have given hope at times of despair, and support when we needed it most. Continue reading
Whilst negotiations stalled within the Bella Centre, most of us in Copenhagen were waiting anxiously on the outside to find out what was happening. As of Tuesday, access to the talks has been severely restricted.
Although all CAFOD staff and volunteers had full accreditation, they implemented an additional tier so that only those with coveted secondary cards could get in, causing massive frustration. And since Heads of State arrived on Wednesday, the numbers allowed access diminish every day.
Not only are people asking why 45,000 were accredited when capacity is limited to 15,000 but there’s also concern about the degree to which civil society is being excluded from these crucial talks. Continue reading
CAFOD’s Katy Harris reports from the Bella Centre in Copenhagen where campaigners are calling for world leaders not to give up on a fair and ambitious climate deal.
Tell us what you think of the deal. Add your comments below.
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NGOs and media are being excluded from more and more areas of the Bella centre where the Copenhagen climate talks are taking place. CAFOD’s Sol Oyuela explains why NGOs like CAFOD are so crucial in making sure that the voices of developing countries are heard.
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It’s lockdown here in the Danish capital. But with about 100 police staying at my hotel, breakfast is a very safe affair.
And this morning, as I headed to a madly crowded tube station I watched a huddle of boys in blue (although I think they’re in black) singing in unison and clapping their hands to keep off the cold, before they set off to tackle the day’s tasks.
The Bella Centre is a series of security siphons with more and more areas shut off from NGOs and media, as heads of states hit their stride in the negotiations. Yesterday saw a huge cut in civil society passes, prompting protests at the entrance to the conference, and a mass sleep-in so people could ensure they had access to the talks today.
Of course the media has been all over the protests like a rash, and frankly it’s a far easier story to get across than what is actually going on inside the meeting rooms here in Copenhagen. With the summit appearing to be making little progress on emissions cuts by the richest countries and long-term finance for the poorest, it’s a tangle of low ambitions against the crucial need to meet high expectations. Continue reading