We're at the edge of a cliff here in Copenhagen. An overnight conference is taking place on the last day of the climate summit in Denmark and everything is up in the air. We could easily take two giant steps backwards or one small step forward. It's literally that stark.
There is two scenarios in the final day of negotiations: the overnight talks could be the serious kind of steps needed to finalize the climate talks. On the other hand, more talk and no action could lead to disarray.
As it stands now, the second scenario is looking the most likely, for commitments by politicians are low in the 11th hour. The future is looking very grey and disappointment stifles the air amongst the tens of thousands here to make a difference.
Obama himself offered no new pledges (other than yesterday's global $100 billion offer in financing). There was no increased emissions cuts, no clarity on America's contributions to the climate fund and no commitments -- only pretty words. Speech after speech by world leaders, there is no closer on divisions between countries and no action on their promises.
As the talks continue now in Denmark, everything is now on the chopping block. Potential hacking includes the 2 degrees threshold, the $100 billion financing to the most impacted countries, the only legal binding agreement of the Kyoto Protocol, reaching 2020 targets and even creating a legally binding agreement for 2010. Everything that has been worked towards for the past two years could be essentially killed by the end of these talks, making a de-evolution of our climate in a moment that was mean to be a historical step forward. Keeping even the narrowest form of consensus and common ground between the world's leaders now would be progress at this point.
So could Copenhagen be a complete catastrophe? Unless there are some major developments (miracles even) in this final hour of negotiations, then yes, this could be chaos.
But climate carnage or not, there is still hope. Maybe not hope inside the negotiations. But instead hope outside. Outside, in a movement that is growing, that is stronger than before, more connected than ever and coming closer to a common ground as people than historically perceived possible.
This is not a final chapter in Copenhagen here today, but the beginning.
It is a beginning of pushing this multilateral deal to truly be multilateral and include all voices. It is a beginning to ensure democracy lives and not a climate dictatorship. It is a beginning to pursue science over politics. It is a beginning of a global movement. And it is a beginning of a new day.
If Copenhagen is not it, the time of finding a union in our battle against the biggest challenge humankind faces, then we certainly came close to it (at least as people, maybe not politicians). And tomorrow is a new day, despite the ticking time clock of this crisis.
I believe we can get this right, we can get there and we can change course away from this cliff we are on. I believe this because I have seen firsthand here in Copenhagen how strong this movement is to survive. People of all ages, all nationalities and all agenda have come together, talked together and stood together on the same frontlines for survival. In Copenhagen and around the world, we have pushed mental mountains, we have pushed past physical police lines and we have made history -- changing a movement and changing the world. Maybe we have not yet changed climate change, but we're on the right path and that's more than we could say even a year ago.
So imagine a year from now at COP16 in Mexico. Who knows, we just might be able to make it!
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