Copenhagen diary: Arrests, anarchists and Arnie

Riot police, firing tear gas, have made 194 arrests after the Naomi Klein presentation, with random passers by among those brought in, and Arnie has spoken.

Our man in Copenhagen, feeling much the worse for wear in the Danish tundra, has just blackberried us this despatch from his bed:

• Riot police, firing tear gas, have made 194 arrests after the Naomi Klein presentation, with random passers by among those brought in. Black block, the anarchists, set cars alight in the street and planted trip wires to stop police raids.

• It was a bad day for Canada who were shamed by a fake press release committing them to 40 per cent targets by 2020 in a stunt pulled off by the Yes Men group and picked up by the Wall Street Journal, and in London activists climbed on top of the Canadian Embassy in Trafalgar Square where they claim to have dunked the national flag in oil.

• Climate Change Secretary Ed Miliband was made co-chair of a group tasked with ensuring that enough money is put on the table for poor countries with his Ghanaian couterpart Hani Sherry Ayittey, working late into the night and cancelling his pre-planned diary.

• Negotiations resumed under the Kyoto Protocol, one half of the negotiations which tracks along with the AWG-LCA (ad-hoc working group on long term cooperative action) which includes the US.

• President Mohamed Nasheed from the Maldives is the first foreign Head of State to arrive. Mr Nasheed, whose innovative ideas and speech to the Conservative Party Conference Left Foot Forward reported in October, gave an impassioned oration and received a standing ovation.

• Governor of California Arnold Schwarzenegger has, in the past few minutes, pledged to host a UN climate summit in his home state, describing Copenhagen as a success. His rousing speech follows the news this morning that the talks were “back on track”.


Joint third are Canada (them again!) and Saudi Arabia, who take the bottom slots in a climate change performance index an NGO has just released for the worst climate change policies. Canada is one of the world’s top ten emitters – it emits 23 tonnes of carbon per person per year.

In second, the European Union for leaving open a gigantic loophole in its carbon targets. The EU has 11 gigatones of hot air waiting for the world; they can raise emissions without being penalised because they set such low targets at Kyoto.

And the winners of the seventh Fossil of the Day award were the United States, who still haven’t budged from their pledge to cut emissions by 4 per cent from 1990 levels when what is needed is a cut of 25-40 per cent.

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