Climate Feedback

Al – and an altercation

Bali, Indonesia-

Olive is about to fill you in on the content of Al Gore’s speech tonight, so, refreshingly honest as it was, and as much as I and many others enjoyed this:

“I am not bound by diplomatic niceties. My own country is principally responsible for obstructing progress here in Bali…but not the only one that can take steps to ensure we move forward”

I won’t duplicate. In fact, it was an unscheduled side event that I found rather entertaining – and possibly more enlightening with respect to the ongoing negotiations. With difficulty, I’d found a seat from which to watch Gore’s speech, but several latecomers weren’t so fortunate, which led to a little altercation in the row in front of me.

Several conference attendees had taken seats for themselves and reserved some for colleagues who were hot-footing it to the plenary hall, when another from a different delegation (have a guess – it’s not the most obvious – answers on a postcard, 25-40% off your next, er, ten years of emissions for the first correct answer*) swooped in and took a place smack bang in the middle. A good-natured squabble ensued, but with both parties getting gradually more annoyed, and ending with a schoolroom-worthy outcome: the single man refusing to budge, and everyone else talking about his rudeness behind his back, but so he could hear every word.

If what was going on behind the doors of the closed negotiations was anything like this, then no wonder many are finding the inch-by-inch progress frustrating, and no wonder Yvo de Boer opened the press conference this morning with the words: “I am very concerned about the pace of things.”

*subject to there being no actual numbers in the competition smallprint, as we feel this prejudges the outcome

Kerri Smith


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