Copenhagen diary, December 9: Security gaffe another slight for developing countries

By Andrew Ward

Developing countries have been complaining all week about rich countries conspiring against them as the two blocs spar over how to share the burden of tackling climate change. The developing world’s persecution complex will hardly have been helped by news that a senior Chinese delegate was barred from entering the conference venue three times in as many days.

“Yesterday, I was very unhappy. Today I am extremely unhappy,” said Su Wei, China’s top negotiator, explaining how an unnamed colleague had his registration badges confiscated by conference security. “This is something unacceptable. We have a saying in China… things can happen once or twice, but it should not be tolerated again.”

Yvo de Boer, the top UN official on climate change, promised China it would not happen again. But he warned that security headaches would increase next week when more than 100 world leaders and their entourages are expected in Copenhagen.

Vestas Wind Systems is the poster child of Denmark’s renewable energy sector. Its name is plastered all over the Copenhagen subway system, with billboards declaring: “The time is now for wind”.

So it was unfortunate timing when the wind turbine manufacturer announced this week that it was temporarily closing its US production plant in Colorado because of weak demand. The decision showed how renewable energy projects have been starved of credit since the financial crisis – even as world leaders talk about the importance of wind power in breaking our dependence on fossil fuels.

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