United we stand

By now you will probably know the importance of the numbers 1.5C and 350ppm. (If not, check Sam’s blog post below.) As a session of negotiations was about to begin, the youth here staged a silent protest at the entrance. We wore t-shirts saying ‘how old will you be in 2050?‘ and held signs simply saying 1.5c. Sam and I whiled away the minutes trying to make eye contact with all delegates who walked past. Only the good guys could look us in the eye, those being African nations and small island states. A plethora of old, Caucasian , and Asian men and women couldn’t.

One of the 2 delegates from Barbados looked me straight in the eye and said “united we stand”, and member of the Secretariat breezed past saying “thank you. we need you.” and then a traditionally dressed African female delegate made the effort to say thank you to each one of us there.

Sadly, in the Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technical Advice, Saudi Arabia killed off a feasibility report on the science of 1.5C to be presented at Cancun, essentially silencing the scientific argument that 1.5 is the necessary target.

They had the cheek to suggest that the LDC’s (Less Developed Countries) consult Google to find out the science on why they think they are going underwater! All just a tactic to kill the motion, and kill time-in more ways than one.

Other countries made no effort to block the feasability report because they knew the Saudi’s would block it so they need not tar their image by saying what they really think. As far as negotiations are concerned this is classic Saudi Arabia who always try to put a spanner in the works. So far at Bonn they have blocked talks on the taxation of aircraft and shipping fuels (currently untaxed) and now this, although is it any wonder when every delegate they send has come from the Ministry for Petroleum?!

A bad day for the negotiations for sure.