Climate Crunched – the Climate loses out at Copenhagen

Posted on December 20, 2009 by


The Copenhagen Climate Talks have come to a close with no meaningful deal in sight.  The Copenhagen Accord, the result of 2 weeks of debating, 2 years beforehand of negotiations and with 20 years of scientific lobbying behind it, has merely set out the gathered nations belief that climate change is a problem, and that they should do something about it.

Danish Police Officers 'facilitating' a demonstration by Climate Justice Action

Meanwhile, outside the conference centre, the protests of many thousands of gathered activists were often brutally repressed. Many activists were arrested for being suspected of potentially intending to join demonstrations, before being tied up and left on roads for hours before processing in sub-zero temperatures, and subsequently being incarcerated in impromptu ‘climate’ prisons made up of cages in warehouses without benches or blankets (after many used these to try and break open the cages, before they were confiscated by officers using tear-gas in the cells).  The only protests that weren’t harassed were by the NGOs present, who were allowed to demonstrate inside the centre if they met strict conditions.  Some Southamptonites attended the Copenhagen protests, but have yet to report back their experiences.

The Climate Camp at Trafalgar

In the UK, the Climate Camp in Trafalgar Square remained in place for the whole of the talks in Copenhagen, acting as a base for actions across London against cheap flights, Canadian Tar Sands, wasted food and the Danish embassy.  Several activists from Southampton made it to the camp during the two weeks, including campers from SU Green Action Society.  Activists returning from Copenhagen visiting the camp indicated how much they appreciated the solidarity shown in the UK.

One of the campers said of the result of the Copenhagen Talks: “This is a total cop-out from our so-called leaders.  Far from taking the lead on fighting climate chaos, instead they have shown their ineptitude.  With so little time left before crucial tipping points in the climate system are reached, it’s time for people to move beyond simply hoping our leaders and the current system will sort it out for us – we now have to take unilateral action ourselves to do what the politicians seem incapable of.  It’s time to take back control of our climate!”

The negotiations for a binding climate deal will continue in 2010, with summits occurring in Bonn, Germany this Summer, and with the next COP (conference of parties) in Mexico City next December.  Climate Camp and Climate Justice Action are set to return too, in a year which is hotting up to be a major battle for the future of the climate and people around the world.  Southampton’s climate activists have also vowed to keep on fighting along with them, and would like any readers who are interested to get involved.