Climate Change

Copenhagen Wheel

Well, the bad news is coming in waves today.  Stephen Harper missing in action, China refusing to compromise, Canada winning the Colossal Fossil of the Year (as voted by over 400 NGOs around the world for being the worst country at climate negotiations for 2009), NGOs continue to be locked out of the Bella Center, no movement from any countries to increase their pledges and break the developing-developed country split that has characterized the talks, etc. 

Long gone are hopes for a robust and binding agreement.  Also long gone are hopes for even a political agreement to take action.  Now, the latest is a rumoured "political declaration" in which countries would continue to say that they will work together with a deadline of June 2010 to get a treaty on paper. ... Read more »

Where is Stephen Harper?

(Copenhagen) Prime Minister Stephen Harper is said to have arrived in Copenhagen yesterday but declined to speak on behalf of Canada, leaving Environment Minister Jim Prentice to make a “say nothing/offer nothing” speech. Sierra Club sources could find no evidence that the Prime Minister took part in any bilateral meetings yesterday.  

“Is he waiting for the photo-op again?” asked John Bennett, executive director of Sierra Club Canada. “There are important discussions taking place all over this city. Canadian officials are not taking part in them.”

... Read more »

Please tell us it was a hoax

Denmark - A man who we hope was posing as Environment Minister Jim Prentice gave a speech at the climate change negotiations Thursday night.  The 100 presidents and prime ministers present were expecting Prime Minister Harper to represent Canada at the podium, but he was nowhere to been seen at the site of the negotiations.  It was a repeat of his performance last summer when he ducked out of climate negotiations to do a photo-op at a Tim Horton's - which is hard find in Copenhagen.

The speech by Minister Prentice was devoid of substance although it did mimic the language of environmental activists using the words "fair," "effective," and "comprehensive."  It also contained a veiled threat to torpedo the talks by saying, "A new global agreement should consist of a single, comprehensive undertaking." ... Read more »


Few of the NGO delegates - and definitely not the Canadian NGO delegates - were surprised to find out that Canada won - again - the Colossal Fossil of the Year award.

This is the official press release:

“Fossil of the Year goes to CANADA, for bringing a totally unacceptable position into Copenhagen and refusing to strengthen it one bit. Canada’s 2020 target is among the worst in the industrialized world, and leaked cabinet documents revealed that the governments is contemplating a cap-and-trade plan so weak that it would put even that target out of reach.

“Canada has made zero progress here on financing, offering nothing for the short term or the long term beyond vague platitudes. And in last night’s high-level segment, Canada’s environment minister gave a speech so lame that it didn’t include a single target, number or reference to the science.... Read more »

Awaiting the final verdict ...

It is Friday December 18, just after 3PM. I am sitting here in the Øksnehallen in downtown Copenhagen, huddled together with other NGO activists that were banned from the conference centre. I have never been executed, but this is what it must feel like. You have filed a final appeal for the death sentence to be converted into a life sentence, you have made a passionate plea with the best (science-based) arguments available and now you are waiting for somebody else to decide your fate.... Read more »


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