Japan – 8 percent???
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.
Wednesday 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.