Copenhagen diary, Dec 10: The voice of youth

Thursday was “Youth Day” at the talks, and the conference centre was filled with earnest smiling young people. Many of them wore orange T-shirts with “how old will you be in 2050?” written on the front; presumably a none too subtle dig at the age of some of the most prominent climate sceptics.

On the back, the shirts read: “don’t bracket our future”; a somewhat convoluted reference to the brackets representing disputed sections in the draft negotiating text of the proposed agreement.

The young people should probably be careful that the oldsters don’t decide to wreck the planet for future generations, simply out of irritation.

Another celebrity on her way to Copenhagen is Helen Baxendale, the English actress probably best known globally as Ross’ wife Emily in Friends, but famous at home for the long-running comedy drama Cold Feet.

She is setting off on Friday by train from London, to arrive in Copenhagen ready for a day or protests on Saturday calling for urgent action to reduce emissions. The most striking thing about her journey is that it is being promoted jointly by Friends of the Earth, the environmental campaign group, and Eurostar, which runs the train service under the English channel.

As the release announcing Ms Baxendale’s trip says, “Friends of the Earth and Eurostar are working in partnership.

Indeed, Eurostar is even offering cut-price tickets to protestors on their way to Copenhagen. It is a canny move on Eurostar’s part to support a meeting that is likely to mean further costs and restrictions for air travel. As the release helpfully points out, Eurostar offers high-speed rail journeys between London and “Paris, Brussels, Lille, Calais, Disneyland Resort Paris, Avignon and the French Alps.”

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