Cop15: Delegates Remain Hopeful for a Treaty

A little more than half ofthe delegates at Cop15 say a binding agreement might be possible.Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia raises issues about the validity of IPCC’sreports.

Will Copenhagen result in a binding treaty for emissions? Realpolitik says no, but delegates are slightly more optimistic.

I am here at Cop15 as part of a delegation from Ithaca College toconduct opinion polls. We ask a different question each day. Aiming toobtain 500,000 to 1 million votes a day, delegates and members of civilsociety vote online and in person to obtain general consensus aboutclimate change. Yesterday’s question was, "Will there be a politicallybinding outcome of Cop15?" It received 54.2 percent of the votes for"yes" and 45.8 percent of the votes for "no." This surprisinglyoptimistic outcome came even after the delay of President Obama’s visit(visit to participate in the daily poll). 

In the opening plenary session, delegates from Saudi Arabiaquestioned the validity of the IPCC scientists’ reports and figures,due to the email exchange of faulty reports.This opposition won them the "fossil of the day" award, an announcementmade each day at 6:00 p.m, for the country who put made the leaststrides that day.

A side event paneled by the Danish Prime Minister Lars Løkke Rasmussen,the former President of Costa Rica Jose Maria Figueres, Kumi Naidudirector of Greenpeace and David Bloom of Generation InvestmentManagement, brought promising words to these next two weeks.  PrimeMinister Rasmussen was "faithful for participants having an impact onclimate change and carrying forward the international negotiations." Heemphasized that Denmark is one of five countries that has been able tomeet its goals by cutting down CO2 emissions by 20 percent, whileincreasing its GDP.