09 December 2009

"Danish Text"

Sculpture by Jens Galschiot


Ocean Acidity Levels, projected animation


A friend, Danielle Liu, in Copenhagen sent this link which I will include part of here. It's one man's witnessing of an ad-hoc meeting in which Lumumba Di-Aping of Sudan, chief negotiator of the G77 bloc.


Requests were made by organisers to turn off all microphones so as not to record what was going to be said, although Di-Aping made a point of turning his on, saying half-jokingly “they are probably listening anyway".

He did not start his speech immediately. Instead he sat silently, tears rolling down his face. He put his head in his hands and said “We have been asked to sign a suicide pact.” The room was frozen into silence, shocked by the sight of a powerful negotiator, an African elder if you like, exhibiting such strong emotion. He apologised to the audience, but said that in his part of Sudan it was “better to stand and cry than to walk away.”

Once he had composed himself, Di-Aping launched into an eloquent and direct attack on the apparent subversion of the climate negotiation process by certain developing countries, the leaked so-called “Danish” agreement that has become the talk of the conference. ...

Speaking in measured tones, Di-Aping first attacked the 2 degrees C warming maximum that most rich countries currently consider acceptable. Referring continuously to science, in particular parts of the latest IPCC report (which he referenced by page and section) he said that 2 degrees C globally meant 3.5 degrees C for much of Africa. He called global warming of 2 degrees C “certain death for Africa”, a type of “climate fascism” imposed on Africa by high carbon emitters. He said Africa was being asked to sign on to an agreement that would allow this warming in exchange for $10 billion, and that Africa was also being asked to “celebrate” this deal. ...

This was nothing less than a colonisation of the sky, he said. “$10 billion is not enough to buy us coffins”.

Obama, he said, would probably be brought to Copenhagen to ’sanctify’ this deal. “What is Obama going to tell his daughters? That their [Kenyan] relatives’ lives are not worth anything? It is unfortunate that after 500 years-plus of interaction with the West we [Africans] are still considered ‘disposables’ “. “My good friends… we’ve got to get together and fight the fight.”

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