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Day Two of my ‘Search for Conservation’ (read about Day One here) at the UN Climate Conference in Copenhagen turned out to be quite the bonanza. As of thirty minutes, ago, the G77 group (130 developing nations) walked out of the talks, sending the entire talks and city into a frenzy. Couple that with a new announcement that only 90 NGO representatives will be allowed into the proceedings on Friday, the day when Obama and the other G8 nations will be here, and we’re smashing records when it comes to conserving resources at a global summit of any type.

Whether these actions are related or not is debatable, but don’t underestimate the impact this virtual shutout of global NGOs is having on the talks. Remember, there are tens of thousands of representatives from around the world in Copenhagen. To be told quite suddenly that less than one hundred of us will be welcome on the most significant day of the gathering is more than a slap in the face. It’s a two-fisted double pump middle finger to anyone but big business and government. Given that some of the poorest nations are best represented at COP15 by nonprofits who do environmental and humanitarian aid on their behalf, I wouldn’t be surprised if the COP15 organizer’s decision to exclude NGOs was the straw that broke the camel’s back.

If the G77 is not coaxed back to the table, look for the U.S. and Canada to pin the blame on the poor, once again, for the failure to negotiate meaningful climate advances.

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Reader Comments


Consider the side-draft, though

From: Charles Shere, Dec 15, 2009 10:59 PM

It isn't that easy distinguishing the political process from "direct action," though; I suspect they're on the same continuum, and Jean simply prefers one end of the continuum to the other. But consider the effect of those tens of thousands of representatives all being in one place at the same time, galvanizing one another, swapping notes. The political process brought them together, if only as onlookers. They are their own conference, and the experience and energy they take home may well do a lot of good.

boycott them first!

From: Jean Schanen, Dec 14, 2009 03:42 PM

This story hasn't made it to the Google News page!

It's my opinion that the political process is so corrupt world-wide that it is a waste of precious time and energy to do anything other than direct action.

Look at all the resources that went into sending those excluded representatives to the conference.

More effective, I think, to band together to not go, and engage in some pro-climate activities together (building gardens, rain-water collection systems) Every bit of that energy and time has a positive effect.

The corrupt politicians count on us to waste our resources in futile protest. Don't play their game!