Peter Head of Arup is blogging from the climate change conference, where he seems cautiously optimistic a deal can be struck…
Day one Our first full day in Copenhagen - leaden skies, cold and misty, good to be inside. Greeting my good friend Olaf Gerlach Hansen from the Danish Cultural Institute, we set up in the National Gallery of Denmark which was all ours for the day.
Under the floating globes of climate change sculpture, in one of Copenhagen’s best new spaces, we launched Culture|Futures, a unique global alliance to inform and inspire art and culture activity worldwide to support movement to the ecological age.
We had a fusion of poetry from Malaysia, music from Cambodia and New Zealand, yoga and inspiring presentations from experts from all over the world including Arup’s Nille Juul-Sorensen about the INDEX awards, which he chairs. I gave my keynote speech - Entering the Ecological Age. Twenty five of the British Council’s young climate change champions from all over the world came, contributed and learned more.
UNESCO, EUNIC, Asia-Europe Foundation, British Council and many more are now joined to take forward a global action programme which will be refined in workshops over the next two days.
As the Danish Culture Minister Carina Christensen closed the event the feedback was very positive - a valuable spiral of global engagement had taken off today.
Day two The news from the negotiating front continues to be positive. It is believed that the US position will stick because of committments from individual states which already exceed the Obama pledge.
It is thought that Canada will follow, that Japan will confirm its agressive position backed by the stimulus package and, most importantly, that Europe now believes the conditions to move to 30% reduction from 1990 levels by 2020 have been met.
This in turn will inspire others to raise their game. So this is a self-reinforcing rising game.
Developing countries believe that some money will flow to help them and they are realising that energy-intensity management along the Chinese model, plus forestry management can give them a way forward to cap carbon increases.
The feeling is that this is beginning to lay a credible foundation for a 2020 position on the road to 50% reduction overall by 2050.
However there is still a gap and much to do.
Peter Head is Arup's global leader of planning
Click on this link to read all of Arup's COP15 blog