Direct from Copenhagen, Denmark - 15th United Nations Climate Change Conference - (8 – 18 December '09)

Acting as the official High Tide COP15 envoy, distinguished ecological artist Aviva Rahmani will be immersing herself in the burgeoning eco-political activism in the city and sharing her experiences with us via this daily blog.

Why not get involved and join in dialogue with her? Log-on to share your views! This is the gathering storm…

Produced in association with FACT

Wednesday, 9 December 2009

How to Be an Effective Part of COP

After the exhileration of demonstrations and the Fossil Awards, I met with Marilyn Averil and Gillian Bowser. Marilyn is a COP veteran. She explained to me how things work. How China didn't offer to cut emissions but rather a percentage of their emissions in relation to their Gross National Product, meaning they can increase their emissions by three times or more. She broke down what each country had offered based on knowing the language and history. It sounded bleak for Tuvalu and Kiribati and all the rest of us.

In the evening I went to dinner with the folks from the Ethics committee and asked them how artists could be part of COP. They asked me back why I thought artists deserved a place at the table? I replied because we are the glue that holds society together. They asked me why it was a COP issue? I answered because culture dissolves in disruption such as global warming will cause. They asked me why artists should be treated as any more disproportionately affected than any other group. I said, because we are the most marginalized and disenfranchised part of society now, but all of human life depends upon us. It is just unaknowledged, as slaves once were and women still are in many countries.

They clarified the legal, polticial and economic arguments to me that had to be made to prove that what I argued about art/the humanities is actually the case, because the United Nations is a legal entity. Artists/ humanists have all the pieces, we just need to put them together. Tomorrow, they invited me to their meeting and I will go and learn more.

Meanwhile, COP is slowly being closed off to NGOs, as we feared, because they permitted too many of us to register (and maybe they didn't enjoy the demonstrations as much as I did?). 34,000 are registered for a 15,000 capacity space. They have instructed us to only shown up if we have essential business. This week is the only week NGOs can participate in meetings. Next week is heads of state and then the meetings will be sealed off, altho side events will continue.

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