Posted by: tylere108 | December 14, 2009

Live from Copenhagen: Monday Morning Update

Happy Monday to all out there – there is much to report from Copenhagen.

A lot happened over the weekend and we are heading into the “climate summit” part of the negotiations when more than 110 heads of state will be gathering to weigh in during the Copenhagen gathering.

But first, an update from the weekend.

This past weekend here in Copenhagen was deemed the “people’s weekend/gathering” here in Copenhagen. The events started with a faith gathering on Saturday morning in preparation for the climate justice march that took place that afternoon. More than 500 people of faith from around the world including every Lutheran Bishop from Norway, gathered outside the Cathedral of Copenhagen to be in fellowship and march together to join the larger climate march. From there, the faith community joined more than 60,000 people (some are estimating there were 100,000!) as they marched for climate justice.

Here are a couple of stories that covered the march on Saturday – though much of the focus is on the arrests that were made in conjunction with the demonstration, those who were in attendance for the climate march were generally a very peaceful crowd.

I also have photos from the faith gathering and from the march that i will post in a Copenhagen gallery posting later today.

Then on Sunday, the international faith community asked Desmond Tutu to deliver more than 500,000 Countdown to Copenhagen postcards to Yvo De Boer, the head of the UN Climate Negotiations. This event was attended by more than 600 people of faith from around the world with hundreds of youth in the audience cheering on Archbishop Tutu as he danced on the stage demanding climate justice for those living in poverty around the world.

Click here to read more about the event and see photos –

Finally yesterday, the US delegation was invited to participate in the ecumenical service at the Cathedral of Copenhagen. The Queen of Denmark as well as the Prime Minister were in attendance and the Archbishop of Canterbury delivered the sermon lifting up 1 John 4:18 and calling on all of God’s people to truly love Creation and cast out the fear that many of us have about addressing climate change.

It was a wonderful weekend and one that I am grateful I was here for.

During the people’s weekend, the UN negotiations conintued on the other side of town as climate delegations worked to get their last words in before heads of state descend upon Copenhagen this week.

To capture all the political posturing that happened by each and every country the first week of the negotiations would be impossible. But here is an attempt to outline the emerging challenges in the process and the themes that many are seeking to address in the coming days.

The largest question is centered around what type of agreement will emerge from this process. Many of the small island states and least developed countries wnat to maintain the Kyoto Protocol and develop a second agreement that could be separate or in addition to the Kyoto Protocol but would lay out the future engagement of nations around climate change. However, there is some question about the willingness of the emerging developing countries (such as China and India) to agree to something of this nature. In addition, the US, having not ratified the Kyoto Protocol is wroking on the development of the next treaty with not as much focus on the role of the Kyoto Protocol as we move into the future. This small but decisive difference has been the point of much contention this past week and will be the point that the negotiations are focused on for much of this week. In addition, there is a continued push to ensure that developed countries provide adequate funding for both adaptation and mitigation as we move forward to ensure that developing nations have the ability to cope with the impacts of climate change and develop in a low carbon manner as we move into the future.

As recently as this morning, Senator Kerry urged President Obama to come to the negotiations with a strong commitment for international adaptation assistance but the question is . . . is it enough for others around the table.

Financing of both adaptation assistance in mitigation assistance is really important to these negotiations as we seek to ensure assistance for developing nations in a variety of capacities. African nations, Asia and many of the countries in South and Central America are desperate for financial assistance as they seek to provide for their communities who are already suffering from the floods and droughts and do not have the capacity to adapt.

As of today, the negotiations are at a standstill as African nations and the G-77 have walked out of the process, demanding stronger emissions reductions and a second period for the Kyoto Protocol.

Click here for an article on why they left:

Looks like these negotiations are at a standstill and it remains to be seen where the this time in Copenhagen will lead us.

more updates soon . . . . .



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