Deforestation: The Destruction of Life on Earth.

by Francis

Last night I went to the Danish Film Institute where Al Gore spoke and two new environmental films were screened.  Al Gore started with a question and answer session.  He was OK, if slightly disappointing (luckily I did not go with high expectations).  However, his talk was enormously overshadowed by this film  Please find time to sit down and watch it; it is an amazing, depressing and important film.

The negotiations here in Copenhagen are concerning.  They are highly political and focus very heavily on carbon emissions.  While accounting for around 15% of the world’s carbon emissions, what the politicians often fail to recognize is that deforestation creates the permanent loss of fragile and complex habitats; once the forests are gone they are gone.

This film not only reminds us that we can all do more, but also highlights the beauty and fragility of our forests.  I met the filmmaker – he is a hero and has dedicated his life to this.  This film was done on a budget of 10,000Euros – quite an achievement.  Please pass it on to others.


‘Copenhagen is out of control.’

by Francis

After being in Copenhagen for three days, I must admit I am overwhelmed!  The sheer number of people and things are incredible.  Day one involved taking stock, while day two the IofC team met-up and spoke about aims and expectations.  In the evening I attending a business forum, it asked what the business perspective is on climate change and COP15.  What was clear is that businesses see addressing climate change as not only an important social responsibility, but also a huge business opportunity.

On day three the team went there own ways to explore numerous avenues.  Marcia focussed on gaining a holistic view of the conferences on show in Copenhagen (there is much more than just COP), Jenn gained incredible insight into vulnerable small island nation perspectives, while Tom worked hard on editing footage from the World Parliament of Religions.  I took a trip to Malmo where I helped facilitate the youth section of the ‘Road to Copenhagen’ – building on a youth Copenhagen manifesto.  This was added to the Road to Copenhagen demands to the COP negotiators.

What has struck me so far is the sheer confusion of this summit.  Not to say the Danes have not done a bad job – on the contrary it seems.  However, climate change diplomacy is incredibly complex and as one speaker said on Tuesday, ‘Copenhagen is out of control.’  UN summits are often planned to the detail throughout, with conclusions written well before the start of the conference – not in Copenhagen.  As one commentator suggested, no one can claim to be in control, nor can anyone say with much commitment what will happen exactly.  Meanwhile pressure is being continually applied on the negotiators for a positive result – we shall see.