Friday, 18 December 2009

Hi, Kate here, this will be my final guest blog post. Hopefully James will step in in a day or two with an analysis of whatever on earth comes out of this process.

I'm back in Copenhagen, with helicopters circling the Bella Center and security people of all description everywhere. (And may I just say that providing outside security for a building in a Danish snowstorm is not a great job, I hope these people get paid enough.) My colleague on the inside had a great time yesterday seeing some of the head-of-state speeches, but all the real work was going on behind the scenes where no observers may enter.

There is now no pretence of anyone getting any sleep, talks have been constant. Apparently more progress has been made in the last 12 hours than in many days preceding, but there are many issues unresolved and right now it is not clear how this conference will end. There is a widespread feeling of amazement and incomprehension that things could have come to this pass after so many days, weeks, months of preparation. Those of you who try to make social arrangements with James will be aware how often he has been away this year at EU or international meetings, adding up in total to somewhere between two and three entire months out of 2009. The same goes for every one of hundreds of international negotiators at these talks. Yet heads of state who are here to sign a document are finding that the text has massive gaps in it and that positions on some issues are still miles away from each other.

The rather dramatic stepping-up of the helicopter presence is doubtless something to do with the fact that Obama is here. The poor man is expected to step in like Superman and resolve all the issues. I wish him well.

Back in the domestic sphere I pootled around at some climate change events in the morning. In the afternoon, after realising that it would cost £900 to fly out of Malmo at this notice, I mounted Escape from Sweden for myself, my luggage and James' luggage before they really did close the bridge. Unlike Escape from New York or LA this simply meant spending a lot of time in snowstorms, and trying to avert wrath on overstuffed delayed trains for being the annoying person travelling with two giant suitcases. The sniffer dogs that are now active on the trains showed no interest in our bags. James managed to effect a brief exit from the Bella Center to pick his up, then dived back in to continue talks. Both of us will be coming home tomorrow, hurrah.

Thank you very much for reading (if you are) and I hereby hand you back to this blog's owner.


M said...


Thanks so much for your wonderful posts. It was great to get impressions from someone there in the middle of the action. Hope you and James are able to get some quiet time together after you are both back in London. Have a great holiday, too.


Anonymous said...

Thank you from me too. Well ybloggen!