Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Word had it that there were major demonstrations outside The Bella centre. So I left the centre of town on the COP15 bus, with a certain amount of trepidation. Low and behold the roads were blocked by police vans and we had to get on the train - with even greater trepidation.

I travelled with Tariq Ali, a Brit, who is working for the United Arab Emirates Delegation. He is a scientist from Imperial. When we got to the Bella we were met by people in animal costumes and dozens of police. Whilst waiting in the snow to get in, some protesters rushed the centre. Suddenly about 50 police officers turned up with dogs. The protesters were wrestled to the ground, handcuffed and sat on the ground in a line.

I then went to the Delegation Offices for a background press briefing with Ed and Jan Thompson (our Chief Negotiator). Having caught up with Joan, I then went to a round table meeting with the European Socialist group to take her place, as she was double booked.

Boringly, I cant really relate the contents of any of the meetings from this evening, as negotiations are getting quite sensitive now. Suffice to say that there is mounting concern that too much time is being wasted on procedural wrangling and not on matters of real substance: emissions targets, transparency and finance. We have to get on with it.