COP15, weekend round-up

While the vast majority of proterstors were peaceful and just wanted to express their support for decisive political action on climate change, Denmark’s Politiken reports that a total of 233 activists were detained on Sunday, while on Saturday nearly 1,000 demonstrators were held only to be released the next day.

Britain’s The Times reports that the protesters were set to target Danish shipping giant Moller-Maersk, but police, who said the protest was illegal since they had not received prior notification, moved in quickly before activists could reach their target. A Times reporter was detained by the police who later said there was no violence.

France’s Le Monde, on the other hand, describes the police reaction as a true demonstration of force, Greenpeace recounts events from its point of view in a blog with video highlights from around the world, and the has a colourful image gallery of the demonstrations.

Turning to the negotiations, in its Green Inc. blog the New York Times reports that, “amid a flurry of negotiating texts for a pact, alternative texts and somewhat secret alternatives to the alternatives, familiar stumbling blocks quickly emerged,” – which largely boil down to climate financing terms and emissions cuts. The blog entry goes on to describe the strong negotiating stance adopted by developing countries, and the war of words between China and the US on climate financing.

WWF in its blog writes that a two-track approach – a strengthened Kyoto Protocol with a second agreement bringing the US on-board – to a global climate treaty is a “possible outcome” of the summit.

Campaign group Tcktcktck has sent an ‘open letter to world leaders’, published in this weekend’s Financial Times. “We need a breakthrough, not a breakdown”, the letter says, calling on leaders to agree to a deal that sees emissions peaking within the next eight years and commit to financing to help developing countries fight climate change.

The FT Weekend also reports that Unilever and Coca-Cola, two of the biggest companies in the world, have launched an emissions-cutting plan. Other multi-nationals are expected to follow suit, the paper says.

Lastly, Poltiken has an entertaining cartoon satire of the COP events last week.

As the second week of negotiations dawns, the world waits to see what texts and agreements, as well as demonstrations, will rock Copenhagen and the climate summit negotiators.

Wind turbines everywhere at the summit

There are wind turbines everywhere at the climate summit – real ones and images that have become a symbol of how to combat climate change.

The Presidents and Prime Ministers coming to the talks later in the week will enter next to a working turbine, 75 metres tall, plugged into the Danish electricity grid. At the main entrance to the negotiations there’s a wind turbine blade – a huge 61 metre blade of the kind installed in offshore wind farms. It’s there to show the thousands taking part in COP15 that the technology exists to produce power without emitting greenhouse gases.

There are images of windtubines on billboards and advertisements across the city – on trains, buses, the metro and city streets and squares. ‘The world’s wind resources can generate enough power to satisfy total global energy demand many times over’ declares a sign at an outdoor photo exhbition in Kongens Nytorv – one of the main squares in the city centre.

Probably the least surprising place to find a turbine is on the stands of the Global Wind Energy Council and the European Wind Energy Association in the exhibition area of the COP. The model turbines are going as fast as they are being put out as delegates and observers want to bring home their own model turbine.

The word is out: Wind Power Works

More than 50 journalists from media across the globe visited Middelgrunden Wind Farm on a boat tour this Sunday. Under rare, winter blue skies the journalist experienced the power of offshore wind in action. Today offshore power plants generate 5 per cent of Danish electricity consumption, while total Danish wind energy production accounts for 20 per cent.

The journalists had the opportunity to meet and interview high level representatives from the industry, such as Anders Søe-Jensen, President Vestas Offshore, Steve Sawyer, Secretary General of the Global Wind Energy Council, and Jan Hylleberg, CEO of The Danish Wind Industry Association.

Also on board were Denise Bode, CEO of the American Wind Energy Association, Christian Kjaer, CEO of the European Wind Energy Association, Claus Madsen, Managing Director of ABB and Dorte Mundt Andersen, Director of Health, Safety and Environment, Vestas Wind Systems.

Middelgrunden is located in Øresund outside Copenhagen harbour and consists of 20 turbines with a capacity of 2 MW each. The wind turbines are in a curve, in the shape of a super ellipse around the city. The wind park produces 100.000 MWh a year, covering 3 per cent of the electricity consumed in the municipality of Copenhagen.