The Hot Zone


Posted by Alison Hawkes on December 10, 2009
Category : The Politics of Climate Change

by Erica Rex

I don’t think I’m alone in not being surprised about what has happened in Copenhagen so far.  The overwhelming impression I’m getting: hypocrisy is more contageous than vector-borne disease.

These tidbits were noted by The Independent (UK) on opening day, December 8:

The Angry Mermaid prize was to be “awarded to the corporate lobby groups undermining effective climate action”. The Fossil of the Day Award was given to the country which does most to hold up talks.  It was handed to… all 40 of the industrialised and transition nations. The so-called Annex 1 nations were cited for their “profound deficit of ambition” on the summit’s first day. Alas for idealism, yesterday (December 9) said mermaid was ejected from the chilly waters of diplomacy by summit organisers for – get this – being potentially upsetting to the corporate lobbyists.

According to Danish Prime Minister Lars Lokke Rasmussen, two-thirds of the food provided for delegates is organic. However, since it also did not taste very good (evidently) at least one delegate, Nnimmo Bassey, head of Environmental Rights action, the Nigerian chapter of Friends of the Earth, went out to dine in a Copenhagen restaurant (I don’t know which one) before addressing the activists’ summit.

Others who choose to eat out can pick from a range of 13 Michelin-starred eateries. Era Ora offers a seven-course menu, boasting a wine menu that can be had for about GBP485. For dessert: vanilla panna cotta frosted with a razor thin leaf of 24-carat gold.

And then there’s the water: Rasmussen declared the talks would be a “bottled water free environment.” Many foreign delegates – and journalists – were none too pleased with this development. They had to be assured by local caterers that the water in Denmark really is safe to drink.

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