The prospect of no deal emerging from Copenhagen is dismaying. But delegates say they have for the last few days been confronted by no-less dismaying organisational chaos that has engulfed the famous and not-so-famous alike.
The order of speakers has been shuffled, talks have been delayed or suspended for hours on end, and delegates have been corralled, either inside or outside the venue with no chance of either gaining entry or getting out for other business.
“It’s a bit chaotic, I don’t think it’s more chaotic inside than it is very often at these COP talks three days before the end, but then you should not underestimate that beneath what you see
a lot of people are doing tough work,” said former summit president, Connie Hedegarde.
It seems no-one is happy. According to one source 46,000 accreditations have been issued for a venue with a 15,000 capacity. The resulting bottlenecks have slowed everything down.
So it is snowing, there are mass protests, and 190 plus nations to keep sweet, but it is not as if these factors couldn’t be anticipated say some delegates.
“Yesterday I heard from a journalist that he had to wait for 9 hours to have an accreditation, so that’s huge,” said one.
“I think it’s a disgrace the NGO’s have been excluded from the conference. Lots of them work with the UN and in countries around the world developing structures to deal with climate changes. And for them to be excluded at last minute is just a disgrace,” said another.
Frustration at long queues, lost accreditations, and lack of freedom of movement. It seems no-one knows where anything or anyone is at any given time – further complicating the lines of communication in an event that is all about the sharing of information and opinions.
Many environmental activists also say police have been over-zealous, making hundreds of unecessary arrests. And while there is appreciation of the complexities of such events critics point out organisers have had 18 months to work out how to avoid such problems.