My COP15 badge. Bit useless now
Since early last week, rumours have been flying round the Copenhagen negotiations about what would happen as we got closer to the arrival of the heads of state. Then a couple of days ago it was confirmed: access the conference centre would become more and more restricted for non-governmental organisations such as Greenpeace, and today was the start of those restrictions. We only have a few ID badges to go around the team and we'll have fewer with each passing day.
Over-subscription (it's been getting really crowded) and security have been used to justify the move, and I can't deny it's frustrating that our team is split between the Bella Centre and offices in the city centre. But the real concern is what it will allow the world leaders to do (or rather, not do) come the end of the negotiations on Friday.
Restricting access to huge chunks of civil society is not far removed from closing the door on a smoky gentlemen's club, and the transparent negotiation process we've been demanding will become shrouded in secrecy. With a nod, a handshake and a photo call, these guys (and they are mostly guys) could seal a deal which is a long, long way from the fair, ambitions and binding one we need.
Worse would be if they came out of their private rooms and span a great line about the wonderful deal they've struck but in reality, if you read the small print, it does little bits here and there, but the bigger picture will be missing and it'll be pretty much business as usual. If that's the case, they need to know we won't accept their spin and their greenwash will be exposed.
It's a concern but they're on their way to Copenhagen because we demanded they attend. The Global Day of Action at the weekend showed the worldwide support for that FAB deal and we have to keep pushing them for exactly that. We don't need to be inside the Bella Centre to do that.