Wednesday, 9 December 2009

day one for me day three for many

Woke early to meet Julie's Bicycle team (Al, Catherine and KT Tunstall) for breakfast and then to the conference center where I was relieved that it only took 30 minutes to register and enter the center today. Was able to find ECI/Tyndall stand easily and find my way around. My first goal was to track down my own PhD adviser Steve Schneider and catch up. Was particularly keen to get his views on the email hacking and was not disappointed. His new book, Science as a Contact Sport is all about dealing with climate deniers and he doesn't mince words.

Next connection was lunch with ECM alum Simon Billet who is working for UNDP and had lots of interesting insights on what is happening. Also saw ECI alums Danae Maniatis (registered as a party for New Guinea) and had a long talk with SEI researcher Richard Klein about adaptation funding and eligibility which is a big area of debate. Then sat in on a long side event with speakers for Indigenous rights before heading back to the city center to speak at the Klimaforum. Its the alternative venue and full of people protesting for social justice and various issues. I saw banners on everything from WTO to corruption and whales to veganism. Was able to see Tim Jackson (sociology, Surrey) give a rousing speech on sustainable living without growth, then a session on sustainable agriculture, and then sat on my own panel on climate science and impacts where I thought we were a bit boring but we got good audience questions and response. A lot of discussion abotu forests and about climate science.

Then Will Steffen (Australian National University) and I found our way out to Katharine Richardsons (Univ of Copenhagen) house which is at the end of the local train line in one of the Royal forests. Her husband is, I believe, the chief forester for the Danish crown and the house is a beautiful old Danish farm/hunting lodge. They fed us a stew of local venison and we had a great conversation about REDD with another guest who is developing projects for Ecuador.

News from the negotiations is mixed. Apparently the negotiators want to nail a deal down before their heads of state arrive next week (they dare not leave it up to the leaders!) and the committment to funding that are on the table are helping smooth the way. I was reminded today that Kyoto is certainly not dead - there are two tracks here, the convention track (which the US is in) and the Kyoto track (which it is not). The diplomatic skill is to create parallel documents that work for both tracks and bring the US on board. Other signs look good for REDD to go ahead - within the carbon market with as yet undefined share of credits.


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