dont let us drown
Update: 15th July , 2001
As NGOs, press and delegates from around the world gathered in Bonn over the weekend, the tension started to build for what will be a very busy two weeks for everyone involved in the climate issue. The Greenpeace delegation, from over a dozen countries, and including over 20 US university students, arrived on Friday night and Saturday morning. We spent the time orienting ourselves, setting up our office here and finalising plans for the week. The first Climate Action Network meeting, with other NGOs from around the world, focussed on what we could expect from the US, how to go about putting pressure on Japan, and what the hell we're going to do about Australia and Canada, who seem to be lining up as the US mouthpieces in these talks since the US has rejected the Kyoto Protocol.
Late Sunday afternoon a bombshell dropped: it was reported that Japanese PM Koizumi had stated on television Sunday night that 'there would be no progress in Bonn' and that there was still time to bring the US back into the process. Japan has become the focal point of these talks, since now that the Europeans have formally stated that they will ratify, it all depends on Japan. For the first time in my 25 years, I heard Japanese NGOs encouraging us all to be very strongly critical of their government - usually, we try to be very polite, but it is their judgement that the time for politeness is over. OK!
Finally, we got great pictures from our colleagues in Argentina from their action in front of a glacier in Patagonia - despite the detailed jargon of these negotiations, we'll continuously try to inject a note of 'reality' into the situation here - the reality of climate change, the reality of the impacts, and the reality faced by people in the world's poorest countries who will be hit first and hardest by climate change. Greenpeace Germany has organised a magnificent display, which you'll see pictures from in the coming two weeks - voices of people around the world impacted by climate change.
Steve Sawyer - Greenpeace International