Daily Archives: December 6, 2009

Fiona Harvey

  • Security guards closed off registration and entry to would-be delegates for almost an hour, preventing hundreds from gaining access. Security is tight already, without the presence of any of the ministers or leaders. When they arrive, the city may hit a standstill.
  • New buzzword of the day: ‘aidwash’. That was the name given by UN climate chief Yvo de Boer to efforts by rich countries to rebrand their existing overseas development help to poor countries as climate change-related aid.
  • Scottish businesses, non-government organisations and institutions created a special edition Scotch whisky, bottles of which will be sent as gifts to key negotiators at the talks. The 42 per cent proof, 20-year-old spirit is called TwentyTwenty 42 – after Scotland’s pledge to cut its greenhouse gases by 42 per cent by 2020.

FT Energy Source

FT Energy Source is posting a daily question for our panel of expert commentators. Below, guest panellists Mindy Lubber of CERES, Robert Stavins of Harvard University, Jeremy Leggett of Solar Century and Julian Morris of the Policy Network respond to today’s question:

Q: What do you think the impact will be of US President Barack Obama’s decision to attend the summit at the end of the conference rather than the early stages?

A: Jeremy Leggett: By deciding to arrive for the endgame, Obama has opened space for a miracle. Obama does not know for sure that he can get his current best offer past an obstructionist Senate, and he will need to do a lot better than a 17 per cent cut of 2005-level emissions by 2020 if he is lead the way to a potential salvation movement for small-island nations like Kiribati and the Maldives.

But will he try? If he does, he will have to hope for two things: first, that global outrage can shame Senatorial climate-change deniers into ratifying a treaty with teeth in the year ahead, and second, that the signal so sent can push markets in the survival technologies beyond serial tipping points.

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