What is Happening in Copenhagen?

I had only loosely been following the Copenhagen Climate Change Meetings until I had a dream that I was in the United Kingdom, that the oceans were teaming with warmer water fish like Sting Rays.  The water was rising and covering the land and many of us were trying to get on a train headed for a colder climate.  Many of us were not prepared.  This poignant dream woke me up and I knew that I needed to get more informed.  And then I received an email full of many resources, information and actions to take that I decided to pass it on.  This collection is put together by a friend of mine, who is currently translating at the events in Copenhagen.  It is a selection of the most interesting and insightful information about Copenhagan and the Climate Change movement. It is comprosed of 6 sections takes just a few minutes to read and includes some great resources.  Please feel free to pass this information on!

  1. What is happening this December in Copenhagen?
  2. What is being decided there?
  3. So what is the alternative movement doing?
  4. A great example of a strong grassroots network: La Via Campesina
  5. What can YOU do?
  6. Interesting links

All compiled and sent out with love… So, please read on! 


What is happening this December in Copenhagen?

There are two parallel events taking place:

a) a summit of the UNFCCC (the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change), between delegates from 189 UN countries and other stakeholders (eg. Corporations), which is happening at the Bella Center, a few miles out of Copenhagen city centre. The UN summit is known as COP15.

b) an alternative forum in which literally thousands of groups are represented: NGOs, networks of farmers/fisherfolk/pastoralists, indigenous peoples, women, elders, youth movements… It happening in the centre of Copenhagen and is free and open to all. This parallel summit is called Klimaforum.


What is being decided there?

The UNFCCC wishes to negotiate and agree a new “climate deal” to substitute the Kyoto Protocol, which runs out in 2012. Now, whatever percentages and dates are being thrown around in the media by different countries (“China pledges a 30% reduction in emissions by 2020!”) this UN “climate deal” is based on a series of tools:

a) cap and trade

b) carbon emission trading

c) Clean Development Mechanisms (CDMSs)

… if your mind is starting to switch off in boredness at this mumbo-jumbo, fear not! The formidable Annie Leonard (author of “The Story of Stuff”) has just released her brilliant new video: “The Story of Cap-and-Trade”, explaining the whole thing in fun, easy terms in under ten minutes. Please treat yourself and your loved ones to this little jewel: www.storyofcapandtrade.org

For those who would like to really get their teeth into it (also getting a more European view ;), download this great book written by one of the teams who has most researched the issue: “Carbon Trading – How it works and why it fails”

Another big thing that will be negotiated at COP15 is whether or not agriculture and forestry should be included in the “climate deal”, ie. in the carbon emissions trading system. They are saying that “farmers around the world should be compensated for their contribution to capturing CO2”. Sounds great! However, the reality of this idea is indeed perverse: it will benefit large agro-corporations and will result in industrial agriculture being spread even further, more forests being cut down, more peasant farmers being displaced…while seriously undermining localised, ecological, sustainable ways of farming. If you want to know more about agriculture and the reality of its inclusion in the new “climate deal”, then please check out this wonderful document edited by GRAIN discussing “Real Problems, False Solutions”. It is the most explanatory and well-researched article I have found so far to explain this issue, which is so relevant to us all because… we all need to eat! Every day! What happens to our food is crucial to our future and that of our children.

The bottom line of this new “climate deal” is that we are being made to believe that countries must sign it in order to “save the planet” – but surely we must all be aware that signing a bad deal can actually be worse than no deal! A bad deal will put into place structures and legal frameworks to allow destructive practices to continue, without tackling the real problems nor offering support to the real solutions.


So what is the alternative movement doing?

Alternative”, by the way, does not mean a bunch of hippies hugging trees. It means everyone who is not invited to the UN official COP15 summit – that is, everyone except country officials, large corporate stakeholders and a handful of selected NGOs… That means you and I and people like us – the vast majority of the world’s population, in fact.

The alternative movements have rallied round to work together and offer a huge array of talks, workshops, debates, activities and actions. Check out www.klimaforum09.org for information about the alternative forum programme. There are also at least two fantastically large groupings, one is Climate Justice Action and the other is the Climate Collective, who are organising all kinds of actions. For your pleasure, I am attaching a poster that shows the main street action demos that will be taking place. Looking good!!!

 A great example of a strong grassroots network: La Via Campesina

Of course, given our share interest in all things agricultural, my pick-o-the-bunch follows this theme! La Via Campesina is an international movement which brings together millions of peasants, small producers, landless people, agricultural workers, indigenous peoples and rural women and youth from around the world. This movement is made up of 150 member organisations active in 70 countries in Asia, Africa, Europe and the Americas… and I can tell you first-hand that their directing team are dedicated, open, quietly hard-working types. Here is their view, which really sums up the issue in a nutshell:

Farmers movement mobilize in Copenhagen

Industrial agriculture is the skeleton in the closet of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). If we consider production, processing and transportation, the whole food chain could be responsible for up to half of all global greenhouse gas emissions. However, negotiators do not seem ready to acknowledge the impact of our current food and agricultural system – and the need to radically change our food policies.

The international farmers movement La Via Campesina (LVC) which gathers hundreds of millions of small farmers from around the world is going to Copenhagen to claim that sustainable small scale agriculture is the way out of the current crises.

It is time to relocalise food production, to put an end to fossil fuel hungry corporate farming, give land to farmers and to implement food sovereignty. Such a move would provoke a reduction of ½ to 2/3 of current global emissions. Combined with a strong reduction in consumption it would lead to a significant effective reduction, contrary to the false solutions such as carbon trading and the technical fixes presented for corporate agriculture schemes as currently discussed by the UNFCCC.

Such a transformation of world agriculture would not only greatly contribute to solving the climate crisis – it would also provide healthy food for all, as well as provide livelihoods to millions of women and men, as was established also by the UN-commissioned IAASTD report, the biggest of its kind with over 400 scientist working for 4 years on it.

Around 100 Via Campesina farmers – women and men – from about 30 countries from Africa, Asia, Europe and the Americas will join the mobilisations, workshops, debates and protests with a wide range of other social movements from December 10 to 18 in Copenhagen.


LVC will have a dedicated press team at Copenhague who will release news constantly in English, Spanish and French. If you have any media contacts who could be supportive of helping “the other side” get media coverage too, then please get them in touch with Isabelle Delforge:  idelforge@viacampesina.org

This is a great movement to support, and helping get their message out is a great way to be part of the action. Which brings us to the next point!


What can YOU do?

You can actively strive to be informed and better understand what is going on.

You can inform others – if you liked this email, pass it on to your loved ones! If you’ve got good info, pass it around!

You can get your media contacts involved (eg. by connecting them to LVC’s Isabelle Delforge:  idelforge@viacampesina.org)

You can follow the news… but not just the mass media news! They are unlikely to be telling you the true story!

You can join or support a group that is participating… or even organise your own event in support of those taking place in Copenhague!

… or you can use your imagination! 🙂


Interesting sites

To assist you, here is a short list of very interesting, reputable websites that are covering this issue (there are surely many more… feel free to let me know about them!):


> The official site of the alternative people’s forum in Copenhagen


> A fantastic site written by a chosen set of scholars from the Transnational Institute on many topics, from politics to economy to social science… with a team called Carbon Trade Watch (www.carbontradewatch.org) dedicated to the climate deals issue. Check out the articles by Oscar Reyes!  Tip: TNI have a great monthly e-newsletter, definitely worth signing up to.


> A whole bunch of networks who have joined together to take urgent actions to prevent catastrophic climate change.



> A grouping of groups that wish to take their serious concern for the climate into direct actions. Their Resources page has really great articles and books you can download!


> As said above, a really inspirational movement who are talking truths and offering solutions.

www.grain.org – unmissable for us agro-buffs!

Friends, some say it is too late, that all is lost and corporate greed will get the piece it wants -again- out of this cake. But we must not forget: what is eaten up now, our children will not have to eat in the future. We must not lose hope – and remember that the only way through it is being aware of what is going on and being conscious of the importance of being united and supporting real solutions to these very real problems.

Hoping you have found this information of value to you, and encouraging you to pass it on or use it as you will, I say goodbye for now, feeling the energy of all sentient beings supporting me as I go.

P.S. Don’t forget to watch and pass on Annie Leonard’s www.storyofcapandtrade.org!


One Response to “What is Happening in Copenhagen?”

  1. vibranttraditions Says:

    I wanted to add a reply from one of my Shamanic teachers, Meg Beeler, you can visit her website at http://www.earthcaretakers.net

    In the new moon journey, ceremony, and meditation I’ve been getting multiple related messages from the Earth about us working with climate change. I want to share these ideas in the hopes of stimulating some of the rest of you!

    This morning my power animals and helpers, along with a few live polar bears, fish, and whales, showed up and said “We can go there (the UN Copenhagen Climate Change Conference Dec. 7-18, 2009) and help you with transmutation! We can hang around and keep working with all those leaders. You can help us by tuning in whenever you can in a transmuted state. If we work together we have the best chance of creating a different vision and feeding a healthy parallel dimension of this reality where the world & its species can survive,”

    As usual, I said “Duh! Why have I been just thinking about the humans doing this?”

    I know you all have great imaginations and skills to create your own visions, so I just want to add a few pieces that have been emphasized for me as I’ve been visiting the climate change meeting in a transmuted state:

    –Vision of all the national leaders and climate treaty decision makers at Copenhagen coming together in compassion for the earth (along with awareness of the issues facing us– intense storms, rising waters, acidification of ocean waters destroying food supplies, melting glaciers, water wars and so on, you know the list)
    –Transmute the ego-stances (country and personal) that keep individuals from making courageous stances
    –Transmute whatever stands in the way of people finding common ground to make the serious CO2 emissions reductions (40%! 60%!), and whatever else the world needs to help us live!

    Keep feeding your vision to help bring forth a different pathway and consciousness for the earth. See you there!

    For more information, including inspiring messages from around the world, see Conference link. (http://en.cop15.dk/)

    the additional info I’d give you is that one of my journey groups (very experienced) went last monday to Copenhagen with all our PAs and other creatures who wanted to join us, along with our “journey group from the other side of the world” whcih we’ve visited before. Most of the human action was to hold space/stay transfigured/be in balance, and it was truly the animals & plants who were mingling with all the delegates, rubbing up agaiinst them, shifting the energy around. And most of us hjumans had incredibly joyous experiences–a surprise, given the circumstances!! So this is indeed powerfuil and important work for us to see that we are not alone: we’ve made the mess, but all the living beings want to help fix it.

    Note that my original post wasn’t on my site, but on the yahoo medicine for the earth group, http://groups.yahoo.com/group/MFTE/message/476 so you might want to link to that as well if you think your readers might want to join. Ther’es not a lot of diaolgue there, but we do have new moon transmutation journeys every month, LD, together.

    xo meg

    “For a planetary species at the time of cosmic birth, you know that the meaning of your new powers is universal life…As a planetary species you are newborn…Recognize that you have been gestating in the womb of Earth, building your universal capacities.
    Now you are born: open you minds; wipe away your tears.” –Barbara Marx Hubbard

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