The final hours of COP17 are drawing to a close. Everyone is tired after two weeks of this process, and many negotiators have already left. The optimistic feelings of yesterday seem to have evaporated.
South African Foreign Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, President of COP17, is giving an informal stock taking at the moment. The exhibition area is being dismantled, and apparently in the heart of the conference centre the coffee machines have been taken away. There is a belief amongst NGOs that the current state of agreements will not keep the average temperature rise to less than 2 degrees.
While the Kyoto protocol (KP) will be extended, this is likely to be by default. The deadline for a new agreement has been extended to midnight, and if that doesn’t happen, then the current form of the KP will be extended, but without Canada. In either 3 or 6 months, a COP ‘extension’ will be held, where another attempt will be made.
To clutch at a straw of positivity, the fortuitous coincidental connections continue. Half an hour ago I sat down on a couch in a hotel bar, and found myself in the midst of the Friends of the Earth finalising their press release. Interesting people, and we got chatting after a while. They were discussing whether to use the Titanic as a metaphor, but ‘collapse’ was chosen as more appropriate. Oops, so much for that positivity…
If you believe in prayer, please pray hard between now and midnight.