Day 8-- Copenhagen Blog: Keep Your Eyes on the Prize

Today was a pretty crazy day in the world of international climate negotiations that ended at a cocktail party at the Ambassador's house where the real Arnold was spotted.  I knew today would be different when I woke up this morning and headed down to breakfast.  There in the dining room was a crew of Danish police officers loading up on fried potatoes, herring and Danish (yes – the Danish do indeed eat Danish).  Later, I was informed that undercover officers would be stationed at the front doors checking everyone’s ID.  And I could not help but notice the rows and rows of concrete barriers set up in front of the hotel. The same scene was occurring at hotels around the city.  It was clear that the big guns had come to town for week two. 

Later in the day, we learned that delegates from several developing nations had walked out of the negotiations stating that the concerns of their countries were not being appropriately addressed.  Five hours later they rejoined the negotiations. 

Finally, a rumor that the Bella Center had greatly overbooked registration was pretty much confirmed.  The capacity of the Bella Center is estimated to be around 15,000.  Word on the streets is that some 27,000 – 40,000 people had been registered for COP15.  Needless to say the list of attendees will be greatly culled and special tickets are now needed to enter.  Personally, I do not expect to see the inside of the conference center again on this trip. 

In the midst of this confusion, I refer back to something to something that Terry Tamminen said right before we left, “The most important day of COP15 is actually the day the conference ends."  On December 19th, the delegates will head back to their respective countries and Copenhagen will slowly return as a charming Scandinavian town preparing for Christmas.  That is when leaders from around the world will begin the hard work of implementing actions that will reduce emissions on the ground, not just in theory.  So, we must keep our eye on the prize and remember that COP15 is only the beginning.