On February 9, Senator Amy Klobuchar (D – Minnesota) addressed one of her top priorities in a speech on the floor of the U.S. Senate:
…the critical need to get serious about building a new energy agenda for America, one that keeps our businesses competitive in the global economy, preserves our environment and restarts the engine that has always kept our country moving forward, that is innovation.”
As of 10:45pm on Saturday Dec. 10, 2011, the only big decision of the COP process was a recommendation by a working group that the next Kyoto commitment would be 8 years. They also suggested that the commitment would allow for a range of 20-40% reductions from 1990 levels by the major industrialized nations. Many of the developing countries were not satisfied by this level of “ambition” and therefore wanted a 5 year commitment so they could ratchet up the standard for the next one. Parties additionally wanted to change language of the proposal, and probably could have fought over the exact wording forever. At the end of the day, the chairman of the working group decided that the 8 year, semi-weak reductions were better than nothing, and forced it through. He made a quick motion, no one objected in a half-second (literally), and down went the gavel signaling the close of this particular session until COP 18.
Friday, December 9th: COP Exhaustion
The conference was supposed to end on Friday, theoretically with an evening plenary session that began at 8 pm. However, the meeting only ran an hour, with little to no concrete accomplishments or timeframe for wrapping up the COP. So the COP continues on Saturday, but with much less energy and lower attendance. I can only hope that the skeleton crew here wants to get down to business so we can move on.
In some ways I’m happy the negotiations are still going on, as little has been accomplished, although I’m also getting frustrated that things keep getting dragged out with little assurance of a final, successful outcome. Apparently some parties were at the conference center until 3am last night/this morning, which meant approximately 16 hours of being at the COP for many delegates.
“A People United, Will Never Be Defeated”
One week ago in the big march and rally through the streets of Durban those words were echoed over and over along with many other chants as 7,000 activists from all over the world made their statement.
Were the delegates and ministers from the 191 countries represented at COP 17 listening? I’m thinking not. Now that the COP has finally been gaveled until COP 18 in Qatar next year what are we left with?
Student Group Delivers Over 1000 Petitions to Ask for Clean Energy
Campus Beyond Coal members, UMN-TC students, and community members gathered outside Xcel Energy Inc. on Wednesday, December 7th to deliver petition cards, hear individual’s clean energy stories, and stand for clean energy and a clean future for Minnesota. Students and community members carried wind turbines to demonstrate that the path toward a clean energy future involves renewable energy and energy efficiency. Student leaders and community members representing the Sierra Club, Will Steger Foundation, Campus Beyond Coal, and the Minnesota Youth Environmental Network were present.
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