Friday, December 18, 2009

Copenhagen update: no entry

The site of the Copenhagen climate negotiations – a conference center called Bella Center – is situated between busy roads and rail tracks south of town and is surprisingly isolated from the heart of the city.

Like the short leash they have given protesters here, security is paramount at the Bella Center. Your only chance to get within 1,000 yards of the facility is to hold a UN-issued badge. But sometimes that isn’t even good enough.

Would you believe that people who went through the rigors of getting entrance badges, traveling thousands of miles, and spending a fortune to attend have been turned away at the gates? As it turns out, thousands of badge-holders have been denied access to the climate change summit this past week, because over 40,000 badges were issued for a facility that holds only 15,000 people.

I personally know of visitors who spent hours in line never to be admitted to the Bella Center. Call me crazy, but I’m wondering how an organization that can’t even count heads for a conference is going to be able to orchestrate a complex international agreement involving nearly 200 countries?

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