The past 24 hours at the Copenhagen climate talks bordered on melodrama when Lumumba Di-Aping, head of the G77 walked out of a press conference and shed tears before making a proclamation that a leaked document referred to as the "Danish Text" was the smoking gun that pointed to what he called a "suicide pact" between wealthy Annex II nations and the developing world.
Then an impromptu rally broke out crying for a "fair deal, not a bad deal," which struck me as somewhat too vague given Di-Aping's condemnation of COP15's host country.
The event seemed strangely timed with the release of a damning article in The Guardian that implied this was a backdoor cabal-type situation in which the U.S. and the EU were laying out a draft agreement without consent of the G77. Negotiators in the developing world certainly have a right to be concerned. The main target on the table right now is 450 PPM of atmospheric CO2 by 2100 and a mean temperature rise of 2 degrees. Di-Aping pointed out that for Africa this means a 3-4 degree temperature rise and an almost certain onslaught of drought and famine.
While I agree wholeheartedly that 450 PPM is not sufficient to protect the developing world, I am concerned that the G77's outburst so early in the conference could work against them. The accusation that the Danish Text is anything more than a working document, much less a "secret agreement" operating outside the provisions of the conference is pretty bad form and sets a tone that is far from productive.
As Andrew Light of the Center for American Progress points out:
Any veteran of the UN climate meetings will recognize the G77+ China reaction to “the” Danish draft today – as the Danes reiterated, there is no single definitive draft and nothing has been finalized – as more of the same drama that has pervaded these meetings for the last 14 years. A not terribly creative mind could script these events before they happen.
That being said, the targets currently being discussed are woefully inadequate, and though a target of 350 PPM would be great it is not even close to reality. Naomi Klein posted up a video on The Uptake saying that "hoping" for a number that is not even on the table is "juvenile" and a waste of time.
Later today 50 youth activists crashed a stodgy climate skeptic party leading famed faux scientist Christopher Monckton to call the young activists "Nazis" and "Hitler Youth." Ouch. Read more about it on the DeSmogBlog.
What drama will unfold tomorrow? Follow my tweets on @greendig to find out.
The opinions expressed by MNN Bloggers and those providing comments are theirs alone, and do not reflect the opinions of MNN.com. While we have reviewed their content to make sure it complies with our Terms and Conditions, MNN is not responsible for the accuracy of any of their information.