Wednesday, 16 December 2009

Hello, still Kate. Everything is confusing today. Heads of state are here and security has gone up ten notches. Most of my delegation who are here this week never got to use the secondary pass system as they could not get their primary passes due to long queues. NGO delegates are not allowed to enter the area where heads of state are speaking and even governments are allowed a small number of passes. And now there is a tertiary pass system for tomorrow which will only allow a tiny minority of NGO delegates into any part of the conference venue as observers. My organisation ran its final two events yesterday so those of us who managed to get in are now pretty much giving up and going home. Our exhibit stand is already boxed up and sent to the couriers since I doubt we'll get back in until late Saturday or Sunday (when I plan to be gone, gone, gone).

So what I hear you cry, we want to know about the negotiations. Well as I said in one of my earlier posts you will get better news from the BBC than from us in this rather chaotic heart-of storm. All we know is what the person next in line in the lunch queue tells us. One minute it's failing, the next there will definitely be an agreement, the next it has gone all wobbly again. I was privileged to spend enough time to have a conversation with my husband last night (as he was negotiating until small hours for several nights previously), he tells me that from where he is sitting everything is completely opaque. The deal-making is now at such a high level that although he knows where the issues have got to in his area, he has no idea how this is being played and bargained with by the top negotiators. He was meant to text me hours ago to say whether he'd be asked to stay to the end of the talks or not, I have received nothing which I suspect means that this is still not clear. So perhaps we will both come home early.

There was a massive demonstration outside today which meant we were sealed into the Bella Center for quite some time. Again, my main news on this was from the BBC and Guardian websites, in fact you would never know from here that there was anything going on out there. There has been a small amount of sympathetic demonstration on the inside, in particular some effective heckling from outside the high-level plenary which is audible in the film footage from the inside. And by the way, if you are truly interested there is pretty good coverage on the UNFCCC website including live streaming from the head-of-state plenary that we are not allowed into!

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