Greenpeace Southeast Asia

Copenhagen Diary 7 | Flopenhagen by Chuck Baclagon
December 17, 2009, 12:23 am
Filed under: Stop climate change | Tags: , , ,

“We want Copenhagen to not be remembered as a ‘Flopenhagen’, we want a Hopenhagen.”

That was the closing remark of Kumi Naidoo – Greenpeace International Executive Director at the side event on the 1st day of the COP15 to demand the Fair, Ambitious, Binding deal to the Danish Prime Minister, Lars Løkke Rasmussen.

Everywhere in the Danish capital, on the bus, train, metro, billboard, and in the newspaper I see the eye-catching advertisement “Hopenhagen”. It was being invented as a gimmick to show the engagement of Copenhageners with climate change and the global call to action during a two-week long climate summit.

“Hopenhagen” is part of hundreds of the official COP15 cultural events that range from indoor an outdoor exhibitions, designs, crafts, architectures, galleries, art projects, films, songs, and many more that can be checked out at

It was really overwhelming for me.

At one moment, after the global day of climate action on Saturday 12th of December 2009 that has been put in the record of Denmark’s modern history – the biggest peaceful demonstration, I was wondering how COP15 and these related events will be a maximum impact politically, socially and culturally to people here in Denmark.

Ironically, I can get back to that question when looking at “Hopenhagen” advertisement poster at one bus stop that is sponsored by Coca Cola, the letter “S” was written down and read “Shopenhagen”!!! Another one sponsored by Siemens, there was a short sentence “Our climate, not your business!”

“I got on the COP15 bus at midnight from Bella Center to my place and heard the bus driver complain that it was so terrible because trouble makers around the world were here!!! “.  Wanun Permpiboon, also on the bus, who has been helping the Thai negotiating team on adaptation text together with G77 parties, said “So I talked to myself that oh well, I am one of them.”

After UNFCCC has been restricted to NGOs and civil society participants inside Bella Center, “Hopenhagen” was really turning into “Flopenhagen”. While my roomates, one from Kenya and another one from Kiribati, rested on their beds frustrated as they couldn’t get inside the meeting, I was running around at Klima Forum-the People Summit to check e-mail and meet up with NGOs colleagues.

The big idea of a Copenhagen treaty (based on the spirit of Kyoto Protocol) to replace one from Kyoto is already in bad shape as Danish Prime Minister eliminated the option even before the conference began. Even climate celebrities like Former Vice President Al Gore were speaking of a watered down climate deal – NOT WHAT THE WORLD WANTS AND NEEDS, “…At Copenhagen, we have to have a binding political agreement that the major countries – both developed and developing – sign on to,” he said in an interview with Danish newspaper, Politiken.

If it is true that world leaders agree that a legally binding climate deal seems beyond reach this year in Copenhagen, Al Gore is no better than other politicians loking for the line of least resistance, rather than what the science and people demand. His message in Copenhagen was really disgusting.

My Thai colleague Topsi and I was also very glad to meet with Sven Teske – the godfather of Greenpeace’s [E]nergy revolution. We invited him to visit the Arctic Sunrise to get a hot meal to ward off the cold biting Copenhagen winter – spicy Thai noodles – and a couple of low-cost beers arranged by a Thai volunteer and the  crew on board.

“I wanna take out the bracket from “E” in our next energy revolution report” said Sven “I think our partners (European Renewable Energy Council-EREC) will agree.”

“Is it something you want to say about ongoing negotiations inside Bella Center” I was jokily asking.

Sven told me that the next mission on energy revolution is to make it for 350 ppm scenario. “then that’s enough for me”.

We got off the Metro at Chistianhavn Station and walked across the bridge toward the Arctic Sunrise. We flopped in there as she is our real “Hopenhagen”.

Tara Buakamsri

3 Comments so far
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Chinese Medicine

Copenhagen Diary 7 | Flopenhagen | Greenpeace Southeast Asia

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