Page last updated at 14:11 GMT, Tuesday, 15 December 2009

Miliband 'frustrated' by talks

As the climate change talks in Copenhagen continue, young journalists Aakash and Annie tracked down and questioned the minister leading the negotiations for the UK.

By Aakash, 15, from Harrow, London
And Annie, 15, from Stonehouse, Gloucestershire

For BBC News School Report

Aakash filmed Ed Miliband speaking openly to young delegates about the talks

Progress has been painfully slow here at the Climate Change summit and there was a lot of confusion on Monday - even, it turned out, among government ministers.

After waiting for more than three hours to find out about further developments in the negotiations, a group of young people from the UK tracked down and surrounded Ed Miliband and demanded some answers.

As the Secretary of State for Climate Change walked into the main plenary sessions, around 20 young campaigners questioned him on the day's events and why the talks had hit such problems.

The minister admitted he was "very, very frustrated" with the arguments over the process of the talks rather than their actual substance. "This is the difficulty of negotiating with 192 countries," he said.

"The negotiations are not going as well as they should be," he explained. "We are trying to sort of say 'look lets make some progress' but I think it's up to the negotiators to try and push this thing through - get our act together - to be honest."

Young reporter Aakash, 15, from Harrow, London, writing a report for BBC News School Report from the Bella Conference Center in Copenhagen during the UN Climate Change Conference
Aakash writes this report from the Bella Conference Center

Process v progress

However, campaigner Isobel Ellis-Cockcroft, 18, from Stroud, Gloucestershire was not satisfied with his answer. "It's difficult but I still think it would help if the UK would stand up in the plenary and call for - encourage everyone - to move this forward," she said.

Mr Miliband said he agreed and assured the group that he and other European leaders were trying their best. He said: "The truth is we can spend the next three or four days arguing about the process - and that will mean that we fail. And people need to realise that."

When asked what might happen next, a tired-looking Mr Miliband replied: "I don't know, I don't know," and joked: "Don't ask me - I'm just a minister," before heading back to the talks.


Aakash and Annie, who are attending the second week of the summit with NGO, Plan International, also interviewed Ed Miliband during a climate change question and answer session for young people, three days before the Climate Change Conference began.

During the Question Time-style event, the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change and Prime Minister Gordon Brown announced that the Department for Energy and Climate Change would have youth advisors for the first time. Read Annie and Aakash's report.



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