Copenhagen blog: Shut out of the summit
Wednesday, December 16, 2009 | 12:05 PM ET
Submitted by Kimia Ghomeshi
Canadian youth do a silent lie-in to express their frustration towards the Canadian government's recently leaked climate plan. Submitted by Adam Scott.
As of yesterday, civil society participation at the Copenhagen summit was drastically reduced, with only 15,000 of the approximately 40,000 accredited individuals admitted to the conference.
This happened during the most important days of the summit, when ministers arrived from around the world with heads of state expected to arrive shortly thereafter.
Thousands of non-governmental organization observers have only just arrived in Copenhagen. They were welcomed with the disappointing news that they might have two to three days at most to participate in the conference.
Only 11 members, or about one third, of our Canadian Youth Delegation received secondary badges (needed for admittance into the summit as of Tuesday), which is actually better than we expected.
As a result, we had to change our game plan. For those with secondary badges, if you arrived any later than 8 a.m., you were most likely stuck in a lineup that lasted as long as three or five hours. Even some party delegates got stuck in the lineups. And registration was officially closed yesterday, leaving many who travelled far distances to attend the Copenhagen summit out in the cold, literally.
Sitting around our hostel badge-less yesterday, it was very disheartening to be part of civil society shut out of the most important negotiations of our time. Why would they accredit so many people when they clearly had limited capacity?
People (including the Canadian youth) spent a pretty penny to attend and many won’t even take one step into the conference centre.
Scientists, farmers, youth, trade union representatives, NGOs, members of the business community are among those who make up the civil society that are being excluded from a UN process that is supposed to be transparent.
So today I am shut out of the summit, but tomorrow will be my last day in the Bella Center so I am still hopeful. It’s left unclear exactly how to have my voice heard by Environment Minister Jim Prentice, but it is my responsibility to Canadians back home to share the true story of what our country stands for. So I hope he will listen.
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