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What’s up today around the COP 15

Written By Gopal Krishna on Monday, December 07, 2009 | 5:19 AM

What’s up today around the COP

Welcoming ceremony: A welcoming ceremony, attended by the Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Denmark, His Excellency, Mr. Lars Løkke Rasmussen and the Mayor of Copenhagen, Her Excellency, Ms. Ritt Bjerregård and Dr. Rajendra Pachauri, Chair of the IPCC, marked the opening of the sessions.

Delivering the message: In a side event at 13.00, the Danish Prime Minister, H.E. Mr. Lars Løkke Rasmussen, gave civil society an opportunity to present their conclusions and recommendations to the COP Presidency, delegates and the press.

TckTckTck petition: At 13.45, TckTckTck, an alliance of civil society organizations, delivered a petition signed by more than 10 million people to UNFCCC Executive Secretary Yvo de Boer and COP 15 President Connie Hedegaard calling for world leaders to seal an ambitious and binding deal at the talks.

Hopenhagen LIVE: Opening of the climate city Hopenhagen LIVE. The city’s landmark, a giant globe, will be turned on to the sound of Copenhagen Jazz Festival’s unique musical line-up. Speeches will be given by Lord Mayor Ms. Ritt Bjerregaard and the United Nations’ Ms. Gro Harlem Brundtland. The Danish band 'Nephew' play live at 19.15. More information on all events can be found in the Daily Programme.

Carbon emissions related to COP15 will be offset via a climate project in the Bangladesh capital Dhaka making the conference effectively climate neutral.
Does climate concern cool off?

On Monday – right at the opening of the UN climate conference in Copenhagen – surveys deviate on the global concern for climate change.

Marianne Bom 07/12/2009 10:50

Concern and awareness for climate change and the environment peaked in 2007 at the time of the Live Earth concerts and the launch of Al Gore’s documentary "An Inconvenient Truth", according to a survey by The Nielsen Company and the Oxford University Institute of Climate Change.

The survey – conducted among 27,548 consumers in 54 countries – shows that in 2007 41 percent said they were very concerned about climate change. In October 2009 the number had declined to 37 percent.

"The global recession and economic woes temporarily knocked the climate change issue off the top line agenda, but as the recession is now beginning to recede, we expect the Copenhagen Summit may push this important issue to the forefront again," said Jonathan Banks, Business Insights Director Europe, The Nielsen Company.

The highest levels of concern were expressed in Latin America (57 percent) and Asia Pacific (42 percent). In the US the number of very concerned declined from 34 percent in 2007 to 25 percent in October this year.
Another poll by GlobeScan goes in the opposite direction, according to BBC News. This poll shows that nearly two thirds of 24,071 people polled in 23 countries said climate change was a "very serious" problem – up from 44 in 1998. (Photo: Scanpix/Reuters)

192 nations at UN climate conference in Copenhagen

The largest and most important UN climate change conference in history opened Monday, with diplomats from 192 nations warned that this could be the best, last chance for a deal to protect the world from calamitous global warming.
AP/Nanet Poulsen 07/12/2009 12:05

The conference, the climax of two years of contentious negotiations, convened in an upbeat mood after a series of promises by rich and emerging economies to curb their greenhouse gases, but with major issues yet to be resolved.

Conference president Connie Hedegaard said the key to an agreement is finding a way to raise and channel public and private financing to poor countries for years to come to help them fight the effects of climate change.

Hedegaard — Denmark's former climate minister — said if governments miss their chance at the Copenhagen summit, a better opportunity may never come.
"This is our chance. If we miss it, it could take years before we got a new and better one. If ever," she said in prepared remarks.

Denmark's prime minister said 110 heads of state and government will attend the final days of the two-week conference. President Barack Obama's decision to attend the end of the conference, not the middle, was taken as a signal that an agreement was getting closer.

At stake is a deal that aims to wean the world away from fossil fuels and other pollutants to greener sources of energy, and to transfer hundreds of billions of dollars from rich to poor countries every year over decades to help them adapt to climate change.

Scientists say without such an agreement, the Earth will face the consequences of ever-rising temperatures, leading to the extinction of plant and animal species, the flooding of coastal cities — about half of humanity lives with 100 miles (160 kilometers) of a coastline — more extreme weather events, drought and the spread of diseases.

Negotiations have dragged on for two years, only recently showing signs of breakthroughs with new commitments from The United States, China and India to control greenhouse gas emissions.

The first week of the conference will be focused on refining a complex text of a draft treaty. But major decisions will await the arrival next week of environment ministers and the heads of state in the final days of the conference, which is due to end Dec. 18

G-77 wants further commitment
The developing countries in Group of 77 want both EU and the US to deliver higher ambitions at the UN climate conference.
Marianne Bom 07/12/2009 12:45

Developed countries should come up with more ambitious emissions reduction targets than they have already promised. They should also deliver substantial financing of developing countries in order to enable them to pursue the dual goals of both reductions of emissions and economic development, a leading negotiator of Group of 77 said on Sunday, according to the Chinese news agency Xinhua.

About the EU’s promise to reduce emissions by 20 percent from 1990 levels in 2020 – rising to 30 percent if other nations follow with ambitious targets – the President of the G-77, Lumumba Stanislaus Di-Aping, said:

"It's a serious mistake and lack of responsibility from the European countries to commit to such a low degree of reductions…It's their obligation to rise up to the challenge of serious reduction of emissions because science has already spoken that the world cannot afford inaction," he said and continued:

"I do believe that they [the European countries] should move away from considering their national economic interests at the cost of humanity."

Di-Aping added that the US commitment to cut emissions by 17 percent in 2020 from 2005 levels is also not enough. To say that the United States "is taking any aggressive actions is not really true", Di-Aping said.

In contrast, developing countries have been taking aggressive actions, Di-Aping said, citing China, Brazil, South Africa and India as examples.

The Group of 77 is negotiating on behalf of 130 developing countries in Copenhagen. According to observers of the negotiations, the central challenge of the UN climate conference is bridging the gulf of different expectations between developed and developing countries.

Stern: Confused climate skeptics

A leading British climate change economist warned Tuesday that those who doubt the science of global warming are confused — and said their skepticism should not derail efforts to strike a climate deal in Denmark.
AP/Michael von Bülow 02/12/2009 06:20

Nicholas Stern, who wrote a British government report on global warming, said hackers who posted documents snatched from the climate research unit at the University of East Anglia had muddled the debate at a critical moment.

Critics of the science behind global warming argue the hacked documents show academics manipulated data to strengthen their argument backing the phenomenon.

"It (the incident) has created confusion and confusion never helps scientific discussions," Stern told reporters in London.

Governments have begun final preparations for the 192-nation conference in Copenhagen next week, where parameters will be set for a new climate change agreement. The US and China, two of the world's biggest polluters, have set targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and Stern said it was vital that countries managed to agree on measures to tackle global warming.

"We have a moment now when we could get a strategy agreed," he said. "If it were to dissolve in disarray it would not be easy to put this momentum back together again."

He said that if countries did not manage to reach agreement, world temperatures could rise by five degrees Celsius (nine degrees Fahrenheit) by the end of the century, making much of the world uninhabitable.

Some of the scientists whose private e-mails were stolen by hackers have said they believe those who leaked the documents had deliberately tried to undermine the Copenhagen conference.

Sustainability Policy

COP15 has defined a Sustainability Policy taking a point of departure in the principles of the UN Global Compact. The mission of COP15 sustainability is to ensure that environmentally friendly and climate friendly considerations are integrated in the organization of COP15 to the highest degree possible.

Conference Venue - Bella Center

Welcome to Bella Center, the conference venue for COP15. Although Bella Center (BC) dates back to the 1970s, it is a good example of how older buildings can become more energy efficient and more environmentally friendly. BC has invested 2.5 million euro in energy efficiency up to COP15 and achieved a CO2 reduction of 20 % (basis year 2007)

Sustainable Food for COP15

Sustainability is one of the main focal points when it comes to providing adequate and satisfactory catering at the COP15. Besides ensuring healthy, tasty, and reasonably priced food, Denmark has chosen to guarantee a minimum of 65% organic food and beverages including fair-trade products such as coffee and tea.

Free of charge public transportation

All conference participants can claim a free of charge COP15 Travel Pass in the Bella center after receiving their UN admission badge.

COP15 – a climate neutral conference

Denmark’s first goal is to avoid all unnecessary emissions of GHG within the given conditions of the conference. Every delegate can make a difference. Still, a conference of the size and character of COP15 produces a lot of GHG that cannot be reduced. Therefore, Denmark has decided to offset emissions for COP 15 and make the conference climate neutral.

Virtual Conferencing at COP15

To foster global inclusiveness, we are pleased to offer an exceptional conferencing capability so more of your colleagues and constituents around the world can participate in the conference without flying to Copenhagen.

Accommodation: Compared to June 2008, the number of eco-certified hotel rooms in the Greater Copenhagen Area has grown from 1700 to more than 7200 today – 53% of all hotel rooms in the Greater Copenhagen Area are now are now certified with either the Scandinavian Swan, Green Key or the European Flower.

COP15’s sustainable organization following standards

COP15 is organized following BS8901, a sustainable management standard. BS8901 was developed for the sustainable organization of the 2012 Olympic Games in London. The organizers are working on a Copenhagen Sustainable Meetings Protocol describing how private and public partners established a cooperation to make the destination of Copenhagen more sustainable, using COP15 as a window of opportunity. The Protocol, including the case study of COP15, will be published in March 2010.

Virtual Conferencing at COP15

To foster global inclusiveness, we are pleased to offer an exceptional conferencing capability so more of your colleagues and constituents around the world can participate in the conference without flying to Copenhagen.
Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark

In partnership with Cisco, our technology sponsor, we have created an unparalleled network of cutting-edge, virtual conferencing locations around the world that can be accessed through four Cisco TelePresence rooms at the Bella Center in Copenhagen, Denmark.

The COP15 Cisco TelePresence rooms are specially designed to make local and remote meeting participants feel as if they are in the same room. The rooms in Copenhagen are connected to the Global Climate Change Meeting Platform, comprised of UNFCCC in Bonn, UNEP in Nairobi, the UN’s Palais Des Nations and UNICC in Geneva, the UN Headquarters in New York, and the Danish Government’s Ministry of Climate and Energy, as well as more than 75 Cisco TelePresence rooms and 20 select Danish embassies around the world, at no cost to COP15 participants.

With Virtual Conferencing at COP15, you can:
• Update your home countries on the negotiations
• Conduct press briefings back home and globally
• Consult with experts in your region or around the world
• Include interested parties that are unable to travel to COP15

What is unique about Virtual Conferencing at COP15?

Virtual Conferencing at COP15 is built on Cisco TelePresence, an innovative technology that integrates advanced audio, ultra-high-definition video, and interactive collaboration tools to create an immersive experience that faithfully transmits the body language and vocal inflections that are so important to communications.

Using Cisco TelePresence, you feel as if you are in the same room with someone who can be thousands of miles away. The image you see is life-size; the sounds you hear are realistic, with no delay.

In addition, the system is very simple to use: at the time your meeting is scheduled, you push a single button on a telephone to begin the call. Each room has a telephone number, so convening an impromptu meeting is as simple as making a telephone call.

Who can use it?

Any delegates of COP15 can request a meeting between the Bella Center and 100 locations around the world at no cost. Delegates can request inclusion of up to four separate locations on one call.

The prioritization policy for COP15 Cisco TelePresence rooms follows UNFCCC entitlement protocol, in descending order:
1. Ministers of government delegations
2. Members of government delegations
3. Members of non-governmental and inter-governmental organizations
4. Media

When is it available?

The rooms are available for delegates from December 1-4 and from December 7-18.

Where are the rooms?

The four Virtual Conferencing rooms will be conveniently located in the Atrium of the Bella Center just across from the UNFCCC Meetings Facilities Desk.

What locations are connected?

The rooms are connected to the Global Climate Change Meeting Platform, comprised of UNFCCC in Bonn, UNEP in Nairobi, the UN’s Palais Des Nations and UNICC in Geneva, the UN Headquarters in New York, and the Danish Government’s Ministry of Climate and Energy, as well as more than 77 TelePresence rooms located at Cisco offices around the world.

In addition, the Cisco TelePresence technology will support interoperability to traditional video conferencing systems. For the duration of the COP15 event, the Global Climate Change Meeting Platform will include video conferencing facilities in more than 20 Danish embassies around the world:

How do I schedule a meeting?

Scheduling form can be downloaded.

Requests for meetings can be made by calling +1 (408 902-4242 (toll number ) Please provide the disired date, time slot, meeting sites, meeting participants at all sites and your contact details.

Shortly thereafter, the COP15 Cisco Concierge Service will confirm availability and arrange for the meeting to take place during COP15 event.

Delegates of COP15 will also be able to request COP15 Cisco TelePresence meetings at the UNFCCC Meetings Facilities Desk in the Atrium Hall of the Bella Center. A meeting request would need to specify date, time slot, meeting sites, meeting participants at all sites and requester’s contact details. Shortly thereafter, the COP15 Cisco Concierge Service will confirm availability and arrange for the meeting.

Please note that Virtual Conferencing at COP15 is subject to the following policies:
1. All meetings must connect with a least one room at the Bella Center.
2. Availability of Cisco hosted rooms is determined by local office opening hours.*
3. All meetings must be scheduled through UNFCCC’s Meeting Desk service and the Cisco® concierge service.
4. You can schedule up to a maximum of four locations per meeting.*
5. For meetings requesting connections to Danish embassies, only one embassy site can be included per meeting.
*Special exceptions may apply and will be arranged on a temporary basis.

What is the Global Climate Change Meeting Platform?

The Global Climate Change Meeting Platform is a virtual community of interest designed to continue deliberations around climate change for the duration of the COP15 Presidency (throughout 2010) and beyond. This meeting platform not only helps to scale climate talks among governments, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), and other parties, but, more importantly, helps participants “walk the talk” by using technology to reduce carbon emissions without sacrificing the quality of in-person discussions.
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