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The North Pole, the conference room – and Narnia?

I’m feeling rather envious – or at least I’m getting itchy feet.
My colleague Stefan Nestler is on his way to the North Pole via Spitzbergen.
Mind you, he’s with an expedition that’s walking, skiing and towing all the necessary rations and equipment on their sledges.That is going to be quite a feat.
His Nordpolblog (in German, but there will be great pictures, I’m sure) looks fantastic.
Visit the North Pole Blog
Meanwhile, I have been doing conference duty here in Bonn, following the UN Climate Secretariat meeting trying to make progress towards an agreement to be signed in Copenhagen in December.
Fred has posted a comment asking what I think of all these conferences and their chances of success, and Obama’s role.
Well sometimes I think these giant meetings (more than 2 and a half thousand people at the UN meeting here until April 8th) produce enough “hot air” to raise the temperature of the planet considerably. But if we don’t get all the major players to agree on binding commitments, we have no chance.I don’t know if they really need that many people. And a bit more video-conferencing would save a lot of travel emissions.
Talking to the delegates to the UN meeting, I certainly get the feeling the change of US administration has given a boost to morale and the feeling that we might get there somewhere after all. But there are those who warn against expecting too much.
Let’s give the guy and his team a chance. And let’s see what comes out of this round of talks, and Obama’s special climate summit in April.
Meanwhile, I’m off on a break until after Easter. I’ll leave you with another link to the latest iniative by the online community connect2earth. They’ve launched a new campaign, supported by celebrities like Skandar Keynes (from Chronicles of Narnia – ha! bet you were wondering when Narnia was going to come in to it. Jack, you probably thought it would involve the lion…)
They want to encourage people to debate with the world’s top environmental experts. Check it out yourselves, here’s the link:
Join the green online community?
Check the Ice Blog again around April 14th please!

Date

April 2, 2009 | 1:31 pm

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Copenhagen: is the hangover really over?

I’ve just come back from Copenhagen, where I spent a few days with a transatlantic group of journalists and climate change experts (scientists and business people).It was part of a study tour devoted to Energy, Climate and Oceans – Impacts on the Global Economy. One of the people we talked to was Lyyke Fries, the new Danish Climate and Energy Minister, who took over while her predecessor becomes EU Commissioner. “The Copenhagen hangover is over”, she told me, and said she was happy that the Copenhagen Accord was going to be a springboard for the next rounds of negotiations in Bonn and Mexico this year. She was presenting the targets entered on the UN list by the deadline (a flexible one, as UN climate chief Yvo de Boer stressed in January) as a successful step forward. At the same time she admits freely that the EU was sidelined in the creation of that accord and is trying to work out how to regain a prominent position in the climate process. She also refers to the “new world order” emerging, with countries like India, China and Brazil at the forefront.So it’s hard to believe the hangover is really over for Denmark or the EU, to mention but a few.
We also visited the Copenhagen office of Greenpeace. You won’t be surprised to hear that they have a different view of the Copenhagen Accord.
More about that and some of the interesting views put forward by North American experts and journos in the next couple of days.

Date

February 26, 2009 | 9:53 am

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