Greenpeace activists hang a banner reading "Don't let us drown" at the UN climate negotiations 11 years ago at COP 6 in The Hague to protest against the lack of action by governments.
OMG, it's deja vu all over again. Just over 11 years ago at around 10am on the final day of COP6 I sat at my desk in the Greenpeace office at the Den Hague conference centre with our final statement (below) printed on black paper - meant to signify a black day for the climate - in my hands ready for distribution. We'd written it the night before as it was clear then that the talks were heading to somewhere between failure or collapse.
Sound familiar anyone?
GREENPEACE FINAL STATEMENT AT THE CLOSURE OF THE UNFCCC COP6
25 November 2000
The Hague - This meeting will be remembered as the moment when governments abandoned the promise of global co-operation to protect planet Earth.
Nearly ten years after the Rio Earth Summit, and three years after Kyoto, The Hague represents a U-turn. Rather than reducing emissions to curb global warming, greenhouse gas pollution limits will in fact be increased.
If governments continue to act irresponsibly, as they have done this week, then people from rich countries should prepare to build ever higher and wider dikes, from which they can watch the rest of the world suffer and drown from climate change. Either that or demand that politicians give them access to the solutions to climate change in the form of clean energy and energy efficiency.
Governments must stop acting as if this was a game. Climate change is happening, and more and more people will be the victims. Once again, the US has been successful with their favourite negotiating trick: in Kyoto they brought everyone down to the lowest common denominator; and now in The Hague they have moved away, leaving everyone else at the bottom.