Posted by: carbonara | December 16, 2009

“On the fourth day til COP-mas, the Mr Men sent to me…”

TWELVE SUCKERS SHIV’RING,
ELEVEN CAMERAS ROLLING,
TEN ISLANDS SINKING,
NINE RUMOURS SPREADING,
EIGHT MINISTERS MILLING,
SEVEN SONGS A-SINGING,
SIX HEADS A-HURTING,
FIVE    BOLD     TEXTS,

FOUR CALLING NAMES”

The UN negotiating floor is usually a serene and immaculately polite forum, full of references to “the distinguished delegate” and “dear colleagues” and profuse thanks and appreciation given to any working group Chair even if not the slightest hint of progress has been made in their work. But today tempers were said to be fraying around the Bella Center as pressure mounts before 110+ world leaders turn up hoping to reinforce their green credentials with some sort of credible deal.

Things began badly with angry scenes outside the front gate as the now infamous secondary entrance badge system turned sour, with some fairly furious Mr Nosey supporters trying to push past the police cordon despite their lack of badge, with the predictable ejection and verbal slanging match to follow. Meanwhile Mr Greedy appeared to be sliding in effortlessly, almost as though he had found a way to game the system – but surely he wouldn’t do that.

Inside the complex, those lucky folk who had successfully reached the front of the queue with the correct array of accreditation labels and without frostbite, made sure they were heard with some fairly pointed and personal demonstrations; some were even heard singing a mocked-up version of The Twelve Days of Christmas with a climate change theme – what a stupid idea.

It can be easy to forget why everyone is actually here, what with the extent of the encircling circus; not only side events, cocktail receptions and popstars but also people dressed as polar bears and, bemusingly, trees.  But back in the world of negotiation, Mr Grumpy labelled rich countries with the now customary “kyoto killers” tag and threatened to postpone things again. Most of the really juicy discussion have now gone into ministerial “consultations” behind closed doors – so goodness knows what kind of name calling goes on in there – which left the Kyoto Protocol working group plenary looking increasingly silly as delegates realised one by one that the group had not really achieved much despite months of negotiation – we can only hope that ministers can give the process a good kick up the backside before it’s too late.

The Hollywood style glitz aspect of the event is now underway following the high-level “opening ceremony” this afternoon – after last week’s sporty session, this was more Oscar than Olympian – but it led to the UN secretary general being labelled as siding with the rich countries and left poor Mr Worry looking more worried than ever as he called on the delegates to help him save his job. Things did perk up with the arrival of green Mr Slow, the British Prince who’s so slow that he’s been waiting for his job for 50 years.

Things step up another gear tomorrow so let’s hope we can move from name calling to serious action – even if the old hands say that Mr Men don’t REALLY get down to business until the final 24 hours…

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