Greenpeace Southeast Asia


Copenhagen Diary 6 | Undemocratic fashions inside the Bella Center by Chuck Baclagon
December 15, 2009, 8:29 am
Filed under: Stop climate change | Tags: , , ,

Late morning on Sunday, I was asked by Penchom Tang and Kingkorn Narinthon Na Ayutthaya- Thai Working Group for Climate Justice’s colleagues to help taking 9 community leaders from Thailand to participate in “Hit the Production” action conducted by Climate Justice Now! “Hit the Production” Action will target the harbour with a mass blockade as the global shipping industry is at the heart of capitalism, a key symbol of an industrial System that is based on grow and the use of fossil fuels.

‘Sure, I can help” I said.

Later on the idea was called off because it was high risk-taking and arrests were possible for Thai communities members. Unfortunately, all of them were not get used to outdoor activity under extreme cold weather. As they realized that Thailand’s Environment Minister-Khun Suvit Khunkitti has already in town ahead of Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva, Thai community leaders then want to meet with him.

On December 8, 2009 representatives of Thai civil society met with PM Abhisit and already submitted its recommendation on the Thai Government’s positions towards Copenhagen climate summit and related national policy formulation concerning that the outcome of Copenhagen climate change negotiations is likely to affect Thailand and Thai citizen, especially communities currently fighting to gear changes to some of the government policies such as the fight against right and forest uses, rights and land use, agro industries, national energy plan that emphasizes on the use of fossil fuels and the promotion of energy intensive industries like steel industry.

The Klima Forum was our meeting point. I met with 7 community leaders from Northern, Eastern, North-eastern, Central and Southern part of Thailand along with 5 Thai NGOs activists and followed them to Marriott Hotel where Environment Minister stayed. We use the hotel lobby area greeting and talking to him. Discussion has been basically about concern over position of the Thai Government related to unfolding outcome of negotiations here in Copenhagen.

“We know that our recommendation paper will not be recognized even it already handed over to Prime Minister directly. To ensure that our voices being heard it was a good idea to touch base with Khun Suvit and will be much better if we can meet up with PM Abhisit here” Said Thai NGOs colleague.

It is clear that, according to summary outcome of Thai Cabinet meeting on 10th of November 2009, on mitigation, Thailand is standing for 1) “legally binding commitment” for developed countries base on economic-wide reduction commitment for second commitment period (2013-1017) and by 2020 taking into account historical responsibility, national capacity in measurable, reportable and verifiable manners. 2) “Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Action” for developing countries on voluntary basis and based on sustainable development with financial flow, technology transfer and capacity building supported by developed countries.

Thailand has been clearly wanted to keep the spirit of Kyoto alive. But it is a big question mark as negotiations is being slow progress and some controversies are being put on the table here in Copenhagen like proposals to allow money from the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) to be used for nuclear power and carbon capture and storage(CCS). Even among G77 group, these controversies persistently remained.
I heard that in the Thai Negotiating Team, some delegates are coming from industry (Federation of Thai Industry and Petroleum Authority of Thailand) and civil society has been often raising the issue of participatory process in this regard. How does industry in Thailand get in there? What about civil society? The answer that we have is that because industry is one of the most important stakeholders in the climate negotiations.

It’s ridiculous!!!

All Multilateral Environmental Agreements negotiations should stand for benefit of the whole country and its people, not for corporate greed.

At COP15 I have heard and learned how negotiation process works and how the participation from civil society at all aspects is so important to keep our own government and politicians on track. The bigger concerns over climate change among ordinary Thai people, the better Thai negotiation team has to do the job in a more transparent and democratic manners.

At the beginning of second week of negotiations, it came out that big chuck of INGOs/NGOs will not be allowed to get in the Bella Center. I can see as there are many thousand NGOs and civil society here. But what’s wrong with that? To me that is undemocratic fashion no. 1 of the UNFCCC.

News spread around the center after developing countries led by African group withdrew the cooperation. “It has become clear that the Danish presidency is advancing the interests of the developed countries at the expense of the balance of obligations between developed and developing countries. The mistake they are doing now has reached levels that cannot be acceptable from a president who is supposed to be acting and shepherding the process on behalf of all parties” according to BBC news.

Combined with a suspension forced by the Pacific island nation of Tuvalu last week that insisting on proposals to amend the UN climate convention and Kyoto Protocol be debated in full. Those were undemocratic fashion no. 2

I walked through where Environment Minister Suvit Khunkitti standing with the rest of his team and greeted with one of his advisor. I heard from Thai NGOs colleague saying that he was also walking out and backing African group’s position.

This was supposed to be my last chance to track Thai negotiating team from inside. I won’t get the secondary badge for sure. I chatted with Yuyun Greenpeace political team from Southeast Asia, he smiled “I am more than happy not to get the second badge (I want to get out of here!!!)”


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