Day 8 at the COP18/CMP8

Of badges and colors

When it was announced that we could collect our badges for the COP18 at Sheraton Hotel a week before the conference, I was in the airport heading to Muscat. So I was really curious of how the badge would look like and since it is my first COP ever I was excited to get hold of them. Our president even kid that I could only claim it by then – so imagine, my “desire” to see and have them!

In the bus to the Qatar National Convention Centre (QNCC) today, I was looking at those badges in different colors worn by those who could enter the conference building. There were grey, pink, green, blue, orange and yellow. Mine was yellow that represents non-government organizations (NGOs). Pink are for the delegate of country negotiation group, orange for the press/media, green for scientists and experts, and grey/blue are the technical staff.

Within an hour in the QNCC I was lucky to meet some nice folks and took a photo of their badges.

 

Gray for the technical staff who made sure that the conference is running smoothly, from setting up audio and visual systems, information, location of hall guides, etc.

 

Yellow badges belong to NGOs, we don’t belong to the decision-making process but allowed to observe the negotiations – quietly!

 

Side Event: President’s Stock Taking Plenary

When I first walked into the Qatar National Convention Center(QNCC) I had a picture in my mind on how the conference would be. I imagined delegates in suits and laptops bags speeding around, chatting with their colleagues, press/media folks conducting interviews left and right. I envisioned a lucid and taut atmosphere. This image quickly dissolved as I experienced the conference and looked for the hall where the Stock Taking Plenary is going to be held. With the overwhelming side events happening simultaneously, it was really cool to have the COP18/CMP8 app on my phone to be updated on what is happening and where.

I chose to listen to the stock taking plenary chaired by the COP18 President Abdullah bin Hamad Al-Attiyah and Christiana Figueres, executive secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCC), it would be a great summary of what I missed in the first week of the conference.

“Will it turn into fireworks,” I asked to myself and got lost in between when acronyms were used. Nevertheless, it seems that there will be a second Commitment Period under the Kyoto Protocol. This is good. It was stressed by several countries that “we should not lose the progress in Kyoto.”

Bolivia expressed concern and said “some parties [countries] are more in the means and not the goals.”

Venezuela indicated “to make decisions now” and “there is no need to revisit commitments but to do them and commit.”

Bangladesh, a vulnerable country, raised ” we need more ambitions and be more courageous.”

Nicaragua argued, “we need a goal and not commitment…the two degree target is practically lost.” They called for avoiding a “lost decade for climate finance,” noting the lack of a road map to achieve the 2020 goal for finance.

Nauru said that finance was the missing element in Durban and it should not be a “take it or leave it text” and concerned about the extremely slow progress.

COP President Al-Attiyah urged parties to continue their efforts to find solutions to the various issues, so as to complete work by Friday. He confirmed that stock taking will be a regular exercise and hoping that interventions (country statements) will be limited to 3 minutes. The next stock taking is slated on December 5, 2012.

 

 

 

Kyoto Protocol in my head

Driving home, I was happy to experience the live action which I learned in grad school. Fulfilling, indeed.

With all these and coming from a non-Annex 1 country  who are seriously affected and suffering with climate change, I have to be optimistic that even with our (developing countries) moral arguments we could take effective action. Insha Allah!