Page last updated at 14:25 GMT, Wednesday, 16 December 2009

'Left out in the cold' climate

With frustration mounting inside the Bella Conference Center in Copenhagen over the glacial progress of some of the talks, frustration also mounted outside at the equally glacial progress of the entry queues.

Young journalist Cerith was one of those who lined up - for two days - to get in to the UN Climate Change Summit.

By Cerith, 16, from Ammanford, near Swansea
For BBC News School Report

Young reporter Cerith, 16, in a queue outside the Bella Conference Center in Copenhagen for the UN Climate Change Summit
Determined: Cerith queued in the cold for 13 hours

The huge delays to enter the Bella Center, where negotiations and many side events are taking place, are stopping many non-governmental delegates, and even party delegates - from national delegations - from entering.

On Monday, I queued for five hours in the 1-degree cold of Copenhagen, only to be told that the machine, which issues ID passes for attendees had broken down and it was unlikely that anyone else was going to be permitted entrance to the conference.

Capacity: 15,000
Applied to enter: over 45,000

On Tuesday, I arrived at the Centre at 8am and queued until 2pm - without any food, and with only a small amount of coffee to drink, given to us by the Danish Armed Forces. By 4pm, I had arrived in the conference - having been through security, accreditation and photo-taking.


With the Copenhagen Conference in its final week, the Secretary General of the United Nations, Ban Ki-Moon is calling on ministers who arrive in Copenhagen on Wednesday to "seal a deal".

He says that now is our time to make a real and effective difference in terms of tackling climate change, and saving planet Earth and humankind.

But tensions are causing the negotiations to be slow and cumbersome, with much of the work still to be done. Nations seem unable to reach a compromise regarding the draft text which was presented by the conference's host nation, Denmark.

Prince Charles

A protest outside the Bella Conference Center in Copenhagen for the UN Climate Change Summit
Not all the action was inside. Cerith witnessed a protest from the queue

I am glad to report, however, that the host Prime Minister, His Excellency Lars Løkke Rasmussen, told nations present on Tuesday evening, while addressing delegates during the plenary session, that "the world is watching, the world is literally holding its breath." He said that as host Prime Minister, he didn't want to rush delegates, but that they should remember that there is a lot of work to do and very little time to do it in.

During the same plenary session, which is broadcast throughout the conference centre, His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales called on nations to "live as part of nature, not apart from nature".

The Conference President, who is also Minister for the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen in the Danish Government, said that "the key word for the next days must be compromise. Success is still within reach. He added: "I must also warn you - we can fail."

We shall see by the end of this week, whether that will be true - and whether the presence of United States President Barack Obama will affect proceedings.

Climate Change Interactive
19 Nov 09 |  Have Your Say


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