United Kingdom

My generation has one mission! (Picyure with apologies to UNFCCC and thanks to Lewis from our youth delegation)

My generation has one mission! See what we did there... (Picture with apologies to UNFCCC and thanks to Lewis from our youth delegation)

So yet again it’s been a while, sorry for the lack of posts! Though I promised blogs from those in the know while I worked on my dissertation, exciting things have been happening here in the UK that have kept all my climate friends busy. From sunny days spent at climate camp, to launching the 1010 campaign with a huge bang, the climate movement in the UK has really been going full steam ahead.

But now my dissertation is in (I can hardly believe it!) and it’s back to the climate grindstone full-time for me. So let’s get down to business. What’s been going on with me and the negotiators?

Well this last weekend we had the second training weekend for our UK youth delegation. This is a team of 24 inspiring young people brought together by the UKYCC to go to Copenhagen. We planned, we strategised, we ate a bit of curry and we wrote ‘to do’ lists pages long.

But why do you need to know this?

Because before, during and beyond Copenhagen, we as young people have one mission.

A mission so eloquently put by my great friend and fellow youth delegation coordinator Kirsty….

A mission to UNF*C* the world!

(see what we did there…)

UNF*C* verb: to correct a F***ed situation; to undo a ‘botch up’ or ‘bungle’; to reverse acts of stupidity or carelessness; to tidy a mess made by others

We as young people are concerned for our future, and we don’t want to leave it in other peoples hands!



So in the first of the blogs while I take some time off to finish my Masters we hear from Nic, a friendly Aussie cleverly disguised as a Brit. A seasoned UNFCCCer he travelled OVERLAND from oz to get to the last CoP in Poland! And definitely knows his stuff. He’s going to give us all a bit more depth into what we actually saw happen in Bonn a couple of weeks ago and what it all means as we hurtle towards Copenhagen.

G’day. Nic here – filling in while Anna’s off getting an education.

This sloth might be happy at the pace these negotiations are moving at but are we?

This dude might be happy at the pace these negotiations are moving at but are we?

So, as Anna concluded last week, the pace of negotiation at Bonn III was slow.

But just how slow?

Well, “only limited progress was made,” said Executive Secretary Yvo de Boer. A pretty honest account after a week of optimism.

And actually no breakthroughs were expected in Bonn as the 2,400 participants followed two streams, the KP and the LCA. But we did see some things happen.


This is definitely me this week, I wonder how many of the negotiators feel the same?

This is definitely me this week, I wonder how many of the negotiators feel the same?

So Bonn III is over, the end of another set of negotiations and the time has come to look at exactly what has been achieved over the last week. Have we had any progress on getting the unwieldy 192 page negotiating text, down to something we can start to work with? Have we seen ambition on targets and finance? And of course the big question…have I written any of my dissertation?


It would seem the negotiating text and my dissertation are having the same problem as each other.

They both seem to have stalled!

My dissertation has increased by approximately 500 words in the last week. The negotiating text has decreased at about the same rate.

I have two weeks to finish my dissertation They have four months to finish the text.

Perhaps if they had the sense of a deadline in quite the same way that I did they would get moving a bit. They can still come up with a text that starts to get us out of this mess. But it would seem clear that both me, and those working on the negotiating text, need a change of gear!

Because this process may be getting us there, but if we keep going at this pace we have absolutely no chance of it being by Copenhagen.

But that just isn’t an option. I can’t not hand something in on Septemder the 2nd. And in the same way, not having got to a workable agreement by Copenhagen should be unacceptable, unthinkable even.


This kid seems to be able too!

This kid seems to be able to!

I never really fully understood the metaphor have your cake and eat it. But from what I can tell the EU is doing a pretty good job of trying to do just that when it comes to emissions reductions.

Or actually maybe a better phrase would be have your cake and eat it, then have someone elses cake too, while that other person is also eating it…..

With the result, that there’s a lot of cake getting eaten, when we actually don’t have a lot of cake!

Is it all sounding a bit complicated?

And you’re probably thinking what’s cake got to do with it anyway!

Well let me try and show you where this cake conundrum is going.

I was trying to (though I fear very badly) explain what is starting to be a huge problem within the EU’s proposals for emission reductions.

Those in the know call it double counting.



It would appear New Zealand don't even care about saving their own spectacular landscape for future generations to enjoy!

Day two at Bonn III and negotiations are in full swing. I can picture perfectly in my head what it’s like as people run between rooms, follow the negotiations, have meetings by the fountains and try and find time in-between all that’s going on to grab some food. If any one is reading this in Bonn a rather good discovery we made last time was the 60-cent ice cream in the Ministry of Environment café!

But anyway, alas I am not there, I am here in the UK writing my dissertation and trying to follow what is going on from afar.

Yesterday the main news came from New Zealand who announced their emission reduction targets.

Don’t get too excited!


Next week I'll be tracking from afar!

Next week I'll be tracking from afar!

So on Monday the whole UNFCCC circus will be up and moving back to Bonn. From Monday to Friday there will be informal meetings between the negotiators. In these they will try and get somewhere with digesting the massive text that came out of the Bonn meeting in June (the one that will form the basis for what we see come out of  Copenhagen),  into something more than 3 people on the planet can actually make sense of!

Unfortunately due to a looming Masters dissertation deadline I am unable to go to Bonn. But fear not over the coming week I will be putting my well honed skills to use with a bit of remote tracking! Jonathon our Swedish tracker will be right there on the ground in Bonn, along with several others from our network, and they will be keeping me up date with everything that is going on.

But as a start what can we expect to see during this next round of meetings?



Well Ed Milliband (Minister for Energy and Climate Change) has been a  busy guy recently!

A couple of weeks ago he came out with a pretty important document called the ‘Low Carbon Transition Plan’, this sets out exactly how the UK is going to reduce greenhouse gas emissions over the coming years.

It was quite well received as it set out how we could reduce emissions by 34% on 1990 levels by 2020. Definitely a step towards us reaching our legally binding target of 80% reductions by 2050.

Though again a step is not a leap. Until we have secured our future on this planet no level of emissions reductions are good enough. So no sitting back Ed!

Most of these reductions would come from decarbonising our power sector. Energy from renewables will then be providing 31% of our electricity.

Interesting, since we are now over a week into a protest about the shutting down of the UK’s only wind turbine factory!


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