COP 15 begins - part one
The waiting is over. Yesterday was the first day of the Copenhagen climate summit and the Klimaforum - the people's climate summit. Our first posting is from the Klimaforum where I spent the day.
The official launch of the Klimaforum took place in the evening with music and speeches from Henry Saragih, general coordinator of Via Campesina, Nnimmo Bassey, chair of Friends of the Earth International and Naomi Klein.
Nnimmo called for an end to backroom deals in the Bella Center - the venue of COP15 - and urged the delegates to listen to the voices coming from the people's summit.
The Kilmaforum was for "real people, talking about real problems, getting together to create movements and share the real solutions to climate change" he said.
On carbon offsetting he issued a red card to REDD, the carbon offsetting mechanism supported by many industrialised countries.
He finished his speech by calling on the audience to join him in one of his chants: "Keep the oil in the soil, keep the coal in the hole, keep the tar sands in the sand." Warmed up with Organic beer the audience were happy to oblige.
Following on from Nnimmo Naomi Klein the Canadian author of No Logo and the Shock Doctrine took to the stage and stated that “There is a difference between a deal and success and Klimaforum09 needs to be the lie detector when the politicians come out with a deal.”
This chimes exactly with Friends of the Earth International's demand that a deal is not what we're after it's a just climate agreement. This means emission cuts in developed countries, and money for developing countries to grow cleanly and adapt to the effects of climate change – but it also means a change in our consumption patterns.
As Naomi Klein put it, "Klimaforum is not about giving charity to the developing world it's about taking responsibility and the industrialised countries cleaning up our own mess.