Will Copenhagen result in a binding treaty for emissions? Realpolitik says no, but delegates are slightly more optimistic.
I am here at Cop15 as part of a delegation from Ithaca College to conduct opinion polls. We ask a different question each day. Aiming to obtain 500,000 to 1 million votes a day, delegates and members of civil society vote online and in person to obtain general consensus about climate change. Yesterday's question was, "Will there be a politically binding outcome of Cop15?" It received 54.2 percent of the votes for "yes" and 45.8 percent of the votes for "no." This surprisingly optimistic outcome came even after the delay of President Obama's visit (visit PopCop15.com to participate in the daily poll).
In the opening plenary session, delegates from Saudi Arabia questioned the validity of the IPCC scientists' reports and figures, due to the email exchange of faulty reports. This opposition won them the "fossil of the day" award, an announcement made each day at 6:00 p.m, for the country who put made the least strides that day.
A side event paneled by the Danish Prime Minister Lars Løkke Rasmussen, the former President of Costa Rica Jose Maria Figueres, Kumi Naidu director of Greenpeace and David Bloom of Generation Investment Management, brought promising words to these next two weeks. Prime Minister Rasmussen was "faithful for participants having an impact on climate change and carrying forward the international negotiations." He emphasized that Denmark is one of five countries that has been able to meet its goals by cutting down CO2 emissions by 20 percent, while increasing its GDP.