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Jun 11, 2009

Japan – 8 percent???

by PhilLee — last modified Jun 11, 2009 06:05 PM
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Delegates from 182 countries are in Bonn discussing key negotiating texts which can serve as the basis for critical climate talks in Copenhagen this December. Sam fleet from Friends of the Earth Europe and also a member of the Young Friends of the Earth Europe movement (Young FoEE) is there.

report-tn.jpgWednesday was a manic rush to get the action materials ready for Young FoEE’s action on Thursday, before I had to leave Bonn at 2pm. I had worked late into the night to prepare the templates for the school reports, and now had to fill it with content. I arrived at the FoEI meeting with draft action materials in hand in preparation.

The biggest news of the day seemed to be that Japan was set to announce their incredibly low targets to the Japanese press at 11am – a 15% reduction from 2005 levels, equivalent to 8% reductions from 1990 levels. Reacting to the targets, Yvo de Boer - Executive Secretary of the climate talks - would later comment that "for the first time in two and a half years in this job I just don't know what to say." 

 


Rumours had been circulating around the Maritim, with plans discussed the previous night in the Youth camp, that the Japanese delegation would be boo-ed upon announcing the targets in the plenary session. Whether the Japanese delegation heard these rumours or not the 11am announcement never happened, and the Japanese delegation chose instead a closed session with the press later in the day.

Outside of Bonn, the results of the meeting in Luxembourg of the Economic and Financial Affairs Council, Ecofin, were brought to the table at the FoEI meeting – the opinion seemed to be that it was disastrous. Offsetting was included in financial contributions to developing countries, and the EU again failed to show leadership, potentially influencing the talks in Bonn.

Straight after the meeting I continued with the action materials. The idea to give a school report to delegates with a simple pass or fail mark awarded to each country. This would coincide with a banner outside and the area where the Flood banner was previously suspended to be converted into a blackboard, again with the results. With a much reduced Young FoEE team, from 35 to five, preparations began and text for the materials began to come in.

I had to leave before everything was finished and took the work with me, with the intention of working on the train. I sat down, booted my computer and promptly fell asleep, to wake in Brussels three hours later. I returned to the office and with the action team on the end of the phone, finished the materials, returning home finally at 10pm, but considering myself lucky: I knew the action team would be working hard long into the night, and would be up at the break of dawn.

Inside the Maritim bubble

by PhilLee — last modified Jun 11, 2009 05:52 PM

Delegates from 182 countries are in Bonn discussing key negotiating texts which can serve as the basis for critical climate talks in Copenhagen this December. Sam fleet from Friends of the Earth Europe and also a member of the Young Friends of the Earth Europe movement (Young FoEE) is there.

The first signs of exhaustion set in on Tuesday morning: I jumped on the bus, which I maintain left from the same bus stop, with the same number, at the same time, and failed to notice for several stops that I was going in completely the wrong direction.

 

Needless to say I was late for the 8am FoEI meeting. I arrived half way through the updates from the previous day. We discussed collecting all the blogs from various FoEI members during the two weeks in Bonn.

Here are a couple of links to those that I have not previously mentioned:

Video blogs from Friends of the Earth US:

 

Linda’s blog, Friends of the Earth Netherlands:


I popped outside to photograph the Anti-nuclear action, protesting against the possible inclusion of nuclear activities under the clean development mechanisms, before joining the remaining Young FoEE in discussion over a further action – an end of week school report, and continuation of the previous detention action’s theme.

The evening was spent at the Secretariat’s reception, where after again being fooled by public transport we found ourselves 30 minutes late. We missed the speeches, but thankfully not the free dinner and wine, of which I suspect the majority of the punctual attendees were deeply jealous.

I spent some time doing my best to mingle, but too tired to speak decided instead to stand and observe lobbying in its informal setting. I was slightly disgruntled that after 20 minutes nobody tried to lobby me, but figured my green t-shirt with a bicycle logo betrayed my NGO status.
 
It also struck me that I recognised the majority of people, and that we had all been sharing such a small space for what felt like weeks: the Maritim bubble (the conference venue). I realised that the talks offered a really fantastic opportunity for NGOs to influence the direction that countries would take to tackle climate change in the future, and ultimately a fantastic opportunity to influence the future full-stop – through lobbying and action.

I mentally congratulated the FoEI and Young FoEE team for their dedicated work over the last days. Ready for bed, I accompanied a genuinely lost and confused member of the Secretariat to the train station. At one point during the walk she remarked “oh, what is this lovely place?” to which I responded, “Bonn”.

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