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Resources Reports from Copenhagen

Don Carli reporting from COP15

One of the more interesting things I have seen at the COP15 is an exhibit of a patented process for the production of pulp and paper made from Red Algae (l. Gracilaria and l. Gelidium elegans) developed by a company named Pegasus Research Inc.

Pegasus is a spin-out venture of the Forest Products Dept at Chungnam National University in Korea. They claim that red algae pulp can be produced with less energy than tree based pulp and that it does not require the removal of the lignin associated with wood pulp.

At this stage the process is still pre-commercial but the developers have partnered with consumer electronics giant Samsung to provide red algae pulp produced on a 500 ha offshore cultivation farm in Indonesia to the world’s first ever red algae pulp production plant located in Korea.

As the world grapples with how it will address the challenge of climate change, it must balance the need to reduce deforestation with the need for essential materials like paper. The company is hoping that world leaders reaching agreement on REDD at COP15 in Copenhagen will expand the market opportunities for their approach to producing paper and fuel from red algae. They plan to conduct a full lifecycle analysis of the process once the pilot plant is operational.

The Prime Minister of Denmark, the Secretary-General of the United Nations and a limited number of Heads of State and Government, representing all groups and regions, speak on global issues in Copenhagen:

UNFCCC Webcast

COPENHAGEN, Dec. 17 (Xinhua) -- The Copenhagen climate change conference was moving again, said United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) executive secretary Ivo De Boer on Thursday. "The cable car is moving again," De Boer said at a press conference. A fast "cable car" was what he expected for the second half of the journey up a mountain to the "summit" of global leaders of the conference. De Boer had said Wednesday that the cable car had made an unexpected stop.

Many participants blamed the host country Denmark for this stop, because it tried to use the presidency to push forward its own texts without consulting others, undermining the two official drafts presented by the chairs of the conference's two ad hoc working groups.

De Boer stressed that the two texts forwarded by the two working groups were the "only basis" of negotiation. He also said he understood why developing countries were asking for the extension of Kyoto Protocol, the only existing legally binding instrument that seeks action based on the principle of "common but differentiated targets." De Boer said he was keen about the United States' latest commitment in joining other rich countries to raise 100 billion U.S. dollars annually by 2020 to help developing nations combat climate change.

Source: | Take Ten with Don Carli in Copenhagen (Audio)

"While WhatTheyThink didn’t send a delegate to the Copenhagen Climate Summit, we do have a “man on the street” providing us with exclusive dispatches.

Listen to our conversation using the player below or download the MP3 file (12MB) to hear it on your iPhone, iPod or other MP3 player. Don Carli briefed us on several topics:"

  1. His first challenge – just getting in the door.
  2. An up-close look at demonstrating the right way – and the wrong way – in Denmark.
  3. What happens when you don’t “size the church for Easter.”
  4. Unique interviews – who knew how many printed pages it took to run a climate summit?
  5. Asking the hard questions.
  6. The world’s largest press room!
  7. The two over-arching issues of the Summit.


I spent two days standing in the cold with thousands of people including members of the press, NGO leaders and delegates who were not able to get into the Bella Center venue due to terrible planning and coordination of security and registration.

My first day at COP15 was yesterday and spent most of the day getting organized for the two remaining days. Yesterday afternoon I attended Senator Kerry's Press conference where he declared that it was time for climate denier "science fiction" to step aside and make way for the science fact of climate change. He promised US climate legislation would be passed in the Spring… with the backstop assurance that if congress would not legislate, the EPA would regulate under the aegis of its recent endangerment ruling that determined CO2 was a pollutant.

I also attended yesterday's morning plenary where I saw the most recent act in the climate kabuki drama unfold as the G77 developing nations, China, Brazil, India and others insistently delayed the proceedings for over an hour in protest. Their complaint was aimed at the Danish move to introduce text that they had not been negotiated and joined with China demanding full Western compensation to poor countries for climate-related costs. Negotiations came to an abrupt and unexpected halt.


Source: | COP15 Dispatch: Don Carli on Media Carbon

When Sea Change Radio Executive Producer Bill Baue logged onto his computer Thursday morning, Skype immediately rang with a call from Don Carli, Senior Fellow of the Institute for Sustainable Communication, in Copenhagen for the UN Climate Conference (COP15). Don’s passion is to raise awareness about the carbon embedded in the entire lifecycle of every communication act – for example, the energy and emissions to power your computer to read and listen to this dispatch. He urges everyone, especially companies, to walk our talk, and reduce our emissions in how we communicate.

Listen to his take on REDD (reducing emissions from deforestation in developing countries) and REDD+, as well as on the corporate presence at COP15. You can also hear a funny story of him standing in line next to Environmental Defense Fund President Fred Krupp outside COP15, and meeting him by tweeting a picture he snapped from his cellphone, thereby connecting electronically. Unfortunately, we didn’t discuss the carbon footprint of this method, compared to just introducing himself in person!

Thanks to our COP15 Series Sponsor The Cloud Institute, as well as financial support from The ManKind Project and the Institute for Nature and Leadership, as well as other individuals.

Copenhagen Climate Summit - The "Hoping to Get In" Summit

After two consecutive days and over 14 ours of standing in the cold with thousands of members of the international press, delegates and NGO participants I was finally able to get through security and thaw enough to write a few words before heading into the content maelstrom that is COP15.

The official appology: issued today:

"The UN regrets the long delays today for people wishing to gain access or pick up accreditation at the Bella Centre, the venue for the UN Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen and is doing all it can to alleviate further delays. Over 45,000 people have applied to attend the conference, three times more than its capacity. An overwhelming number of those who applied arrived on Monday, causing congestion in the area outside the UN venue, which is under the control of the Danish police, and also long delays inside the UN area of control at accreditation counters. The UN accredited a total of around 3,500 new delegates today."

Copenhagen on My Mind: Reducing Deforestation And "Digital Media Tree-Wash"

I‘ll be traveling to Copenhagen to cover the last week of the COP15 Climate Summit and report on how the decisions being made there are likely to impact the forestry, papermaking, printing, publishing and IT sectors that the graphic arts depend on. One of the most significant issues to be addressed in Copenhagen is protecting and restoring global forest ecosystems.

I hope to hear from all of you who have questions for the leaders convened in Copenhagen. I will do my best to track down the answers. Please send me your questions and follow me on Twitter: @dcarli Use the Hashtag: #COP15.

Most people will tell you that they care about saving our forests, but they tend to be uninformed or misinformed when it comes to knowing the causes of deforestation or some of the places being affected most significantly by land use change that kills trees, pollutes rivers and contributes to climate change. Until recently the conventional wisdom has been to demonize paper and print media as the major culprit behind “killing trees” and to idealize digital media as “green and groovy” alternative without consideration for the full backstory or life cycle footprint of either.