Day V in Copenhagen: In the Wake of Yesterday’s Walk-Outs and Protests, Struggles Continue

By Jacqui Patterson, Director of the NAACP Climate Justice Initiative

Though I missed some of the fun yesterday because you can’t be everywhere at once! I did learn that there was a bit of drama in the official proceedings as the representative from Tuvalu walked out of the deliberations along with some reps from other small island states such as Grenada, Trinidad and Tobago. All were frustrated over the failure of the states to commit to coming up with a legally binding agreement at the conclusion of the Copenhagen climate talks. Having much to lose if aggressive action is taken in curbing greenhouse gas emissions, the small island states were extremely frustrated by the reticence of wealthy/developed nations in taking responsibility for their actions.

Meanwhile civil society was out protesting in the halls, including staging a die-in where one participant feigned a collapse, signifying the death of the Kyoto Protocol.

Today I was at the airport, pleased to begin to receive the early arriving members from the Movement Generation for Change, Right to the City, and Grassroots Global Justice delegation.

Before going to the airport I was able to stop in on the Klimaforum and participate in a half day panel on the intersection of Food and Energy Sovereignty with Climate Change.  One point that was made that was particularly striking was referencing the dynamics around food and agriculture with transnational corporations holding sway, as a “plantation” situation with external corporations mining nations for their natural resources while the inhabitants are engaged as field hands, as opposed to rightful owners to the land and its produce.  Mono-cropping that has begun to proliferate as a direct response to climate change, is exacerbating the situation as well as destroying the biodiversity necessary for a healthy ecosystem.

After traveling for 22 hours, Mari Rose, the arriving delegation member who works with the Asian Pacific Environmental Network, was generous enough to allow me to film her story and early thoughts about how she plans to engage here in Copenhagen and represent the interests of her community here.

Finally, each day we’ve tried to tie what’s happening here in Copenhagen with stories of what’s happening at home in the US because the talks here are interconnected with the experiences and interests of our communities, particularly communities of color. So I leave you with a video interview I did with Michelle Macarenhas Swann because it is very relevant to this question of food sovereignty and the principles we want to espouse in terms of community local self reliance.

Explore posts in the same categories: Copenhagen Blog, Voices From the Global South

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