From inside the climate talks

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From inside the climate talks

yeb-590.jpg

Yeb Saño (from the Philippines) asks governments what they will do after a typhoon destroyed his hometown. © Kacper Pempel / Reuters

Jim Shultz, Democracy Center, Bolivia:

‘They don't make the main agreements are in public. No-one sees the foreign ministers having real conversations. The formal negotiations are when 100 people look at a screen with a Word document and discuss where to add commas. Also, there are smaller rooms where governments and groups have little conferences and discussions. In Lima there was a US presentation to show new satellite technology. This can take high-quality photos of effects of climate change around the world. It was like being on the Titanic, and saying: “We’re not going to stop the boat sinking but we’re going to get some really good photos.”’

Angela Valenzuela, Earth in Brackets:

‘I went to a small event about carbon markets. A Bolivian woman wanted to say something and I translated for her. It was really difficult, because she was saying how carbon markets were so bad for her community. They are forced on people who have no control over their land, and she was very emotional. But the people managing the meeting said “OK, thank you,” and moved on to the next topic. She was crying and saying “this affects me, my life, my people” but this did not fit their discussion.’ Maria Alejandra Escalante, Earth in Brackets:

‘I was a youth observer at the 2013 talks in Warsaw, but they made me leave on the first day with two others. It was stupid – we were just holding a banner after the speech from Yeb Saño [the Philippines delegate in the photo] in the opening talk, to support him and the victims of Typhoon Haiyan. But they have to control everything and agree to allow a banner before the event. So I could not go in for the whole two weeks.’

Asad Rehman, Friends of the Earth Climate Campaigner and co-ordinator of Demand Climate Justice:

‘The negotiations are like a very big game of chess. The US made China make an agreement between their two countries. So developing countries have no power to get any money. In Durban in 2011 the EU said the Least Developed Countries and the Small Island States only need to fight for survival. And the bigger countries need to develop. So it’s a choice between survival of some countries and development of others. It would be better to say “our survival and our development are both very important for us, it’s us against the consumption (buying and using resources) of the North.” The EU were very clever with this. And they want to do this again in Paris.’

NOW READ THE ORIGINAL: http://newint.org/features/2015/11/01/climate-talks-inside-views/ (This article has been simplified so the words, text structure and quotes may have been changed).