The challenge of an inclusive process
In Copenhagen, many agree that the outcome is as much important as the process. Developing countries complain – rightly – that the negotiation process is neither open nor fair nor transparent. Things are even worse for the civil society.
Since the very beginning of the negotiations, NGOs, advocacy groups and militants have closely associated to the process. Unlike many other UN summits, the climate conferences have always been very open to civil society. Civil society is part of the negotiations, and has always been: NGOs have fed and stimulated the talks more than any other group. If 119 heads of state are expected to come to Copenhagen, this is thanks constant lobbying and pressure from NGOs.
A few days ago however, the secretariat of the conference has announced that the access to the Bella Center would be barred to NGOs for security reasons – only 300 delegates would be able to attend. These people have worked tirelessly on a global deal for the last 14 years – at least – and they’re being thrown out at the very last, crucial moment. This is the reason why these two militants interrupted the plenary session yesterday morning. Whatever the outcome of the conference, the process that induced it is a failure per se.