I’m going to avoid posting daily comments about what’s going on in Copenhagen, since I assume most readers know how to stay informed about the events. You could have slept through the first three days, however, and not missed anything of substance. My role is to bring your attention to the underreported stories that add color to the drab northern European winter days.
Today, therefore, I’m going to take a break from my cynical ploys to avoid U.S. action on climate change, lazy scholarship and reflexive “China bashing,” to feature a story that may help you appreciate how unwieldy such a large global convention can be from a logistics point of view. It turns out that China’s chief negotiator, Xie Zhenhua was denied entry to the negotiation site, the Bella Exhibition Center, on three separate occasions. It is unclear if this happened over the course of three days, which the Chinese version suggests, or involved three tries on the same day, which the Danish press reports. In any event, what we have here is a situation where the chief negotiator for the country that currently emits more greenhouse gases than any other country into the atmosphere was denied entry into the negotiations.
That is what I call tight security! The entrance control personnel at the Bella Center are apparently turning away everyone who does not have their picture on their conference issued ID badge. Chinese sources say that all of the Chinese staff have their pictures on their badges, but the badge of the head of the delegation does not. Who is responsible for this glitch is unclear.
Su Wei, deputy head of the Chinese delegation, reacted rather strongly with 事不过三 (which essentially means “you’ve screwed me over three times,” the implication is our relationship is over or I’m done playing nice), and reported “The first day of the General Assembly I was unhappy, the second day I was very unhappy, and today I am extremely unhappy.”
Here a photograph of Xie Zhenhua. Please let this man into the negotiating sessions!