The Wonk Room has arrived in Copenhagen, Denmark, after a red-eye through Reykjavik, to cover the United Nations Climate Change Conference in person. Follow the Center for American Progress Copenhagen Twitter feed here.
Copenhagen — the Venice of Scandinavia — is overrun with attendees of the conference and related activities, and festooned with climate-related advertisements. Oceana’s ads argues that shellfish and coral reefs will be gone by 2050 unless a target of 350 ppm is set for carbon dioxide concentrations — less than today’s 387 ppm. The global activist campaign Tcktcktck portrays the world’s leaders of today, in 2020, their aged faces next to expressions of regret that they failed to halt catastrophic climate change. Meanwhile, other ads portray various energy companies as green superstars — a theme familiar to any rider of the Washington D.C. metro. At the Bella Center, southeast of the center city, the conference has begun.
Taking an extremist stance even before the plenary opening, petroleum giant Saudi Arabia has latched onto the fake “scandal” of the Climategate swift-hacking to deny the existence of global warming. Mohammad Al-Sabban, Saudi Arabia’s lead climate negotiator, told BBC News that the hacked emails will have a “huge impact” on the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen. Al-Sabban “said that he expected it to derail the single biggest objective of the summit – to agree to limitations on greenhouse gas emissions”:
It appears from the details of the scandal that there is no relationship whatsoever between human activities and climate change.
Saudi Arabia has joined the ranks of Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-OK), Sarah Palin, and other global warming deniers for transparently political reasons. The nation has a “long history of playing an obstructionist role at climate conferences.” In 2004 their negotiator argued, “By the year 2010, Saudi Arabia will lose at least $19 billion a year as a result of the policies the industrialised nations will adopt to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions.”