Thursday, December 17, 2009

The most powerful demonstration I've seen in Copenhagen

On my way in on the bus today, we passed a group of about thirty youngsters at the side of the road. They were holding a long banner which read "politicians talk, leaders act". They were standing in silence in the wind and the snow and conveyed their message with much more power than any of the people shouting at delegates on the way into the centre.

This Year's Globe Award

Gordon Brown presented the Globe Award for International Leadership on the Environment to President Calderon of Mexico.

The award was in particular recognition of the work he has done in Developing The Green Fund which is hoped will play a very important role in financing a deal here in Copenhagen.

Hilary to the rescue

The issue of finance got a boost today from the Americans. Hilary Clinton said the United States "is prepared to work with other countries toward a goal of jointly mobilizing $100 billion a year by 2020 to address the climate change needs of developing countries." It would seem that they have accepted the level need first put a figure to by Gordon Brown and want to talk about how to raise the finance. This is very encouraging.

Gordon's Speech to Conference

Our PM made a really inspiring speech today - it was Gordon at his best.

"Hurricanes, floods, typhoons and droughts that were once all regarded as the acts of an invisible god, are now revealed to be also the visible acts of man."

"Informed by conscience, inspired by common purpose, we the leaders of this fragile world, must affirm, we will not condemn millions to injustice without remedy, to sorrow without hope, to deprivation without end."

"People will rightly say:if we can provide the finance to save the banks from the bankers, we ca, with the right financial support, save the planet from those forces that would destroy it."

"As one of the greatest world leaders warned at a different time of peril, "it is no use saying we are doing our best, you have got to succeed in doing whats necessary."

"Friends I do not ask my country or any country to suspend its national interest, but to advance it more intelligently. For nothing matters more than the fate of the only world we have."

I was watching the speech on a screen outside the hall with a large crowd of international delegates. At the end of the speech, we broke into spontaneous applause.

Freezing the Delegates

The heating in the delegates offices has broken down! Or maybe its some tactic dreamt up by the Danes to get delegates out of their offices and into the warm hall.

I've spent most of the day with Joan Ruddock in bilateral meetings. We broke off at one point to go to the Media Centre - NB they have heating. Joan was being interviewed by Simon Mayo. The problem is that it isn't possible to talk about everything that is being discussed as it's all so finely balanced. At least the execise warmed us up a bit.

Of course whilst the British might be finding it a bit uncomfortable - spare a moment for delegates from warmer countries. I went over to see the Australians and collect some documents: they were in a bad way. I spoke to some Italian women whose teeth were chattering so hard, I couldn't work out what they were saying!