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High Level Segment Opening

December 15, 2009

After waiting for more than 12 hours over two days to obtain the much sought after accreditation pass (a debacle in itself), I finally was able to step into Bella Center, disoriented, but amazed at the amount and variety of people, documents, events, media, discussions, talk, opposing viewpoints (and food) that lay before me. The scale of the event is truly humongous and the diversity of information, topics and interests just goes to show how climate change encompasses a wide-range of sub-issues and brings together an array of people from a multitude of disciplines.

I also had the privilege of attending the opening of the High-Level Segment, with prominent individuals such as Prince Charles, Ban Ki Moon and 2004 Nobel Peace Laureate Wangari Matthai that spoke. Several highlights included the emphasis on the fact the negotiations cannot fail and that a consensus or compromise must emerged by the end of the week. Many speakers reflected that there is too much at stake and therefore the delegates must seize this crucial opportunity and turn it into a critical historic point when far-ranging measures to avoid irreversible effects to the climate system. Mr Ban referred to success on climate change to the difficulty of the creation of the UN, while many leaders expressed hope at the fact that as over 100 head of states are arriving in Copenhagen till Friday, that this shows the fact that governments have put climate change high on their agendas.

Prince Charles’ speech was the most impressive and talked about climate change as a human problem. He mentioned climate change shows the combined impact of humans’ environmental destruction, highlighting issues from topsoil destruction to fishery depletion and unsustainable agriculture. Therefore, solving climate change poses an opportunity to solve many of the world’s interlinked global issues. Also emphasized was the need for “global partnerships for global solutions” and that there should be an understanding that the commons are for the well-being of everyone which is under peril from systemic unsustainable consumption of natural resources and ecosystems.

All in all, it was indeed an interesting session, and sets up three days of high level discussions and negotiations that will aim to draft concrete policies that will hopefully fulfill the rhetoric. The world awaits for a successful outcome as the rest of the week could significantly our collective future.

Live from Bella Center

Zhe Yu

One Comment leave one →
  1. melllll permalink*
    December 15, 2009 9:37 pm

    OMG SO LUCKY!!!! Tell us all about it later when you get back!!!

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