COP15 Video: "The Fate of My Country Rests in Your Hands" COP15 Video: "The Fate of My Country Rests in Your Hands"
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COP15 Video: "The Fate of My Country Rests in Your Hands"

by Ben Jervey

December 16, 2009
Ninety-five percent of the time, the plenaries and contact groups and informal meetings in the UNFCCC process are mind numbingly boring. But occasionally, there's a moment to remember.Such was the case on Saturday morning, as Ian Fry, lead negotiator for the tiny island nation of Tuvalu (remember them?) called out the U.S. Senate and President Obama directly (not common practice) in an emotional plea.
It appears that we are waiting for some senators in the U.S. Congress to conclude before we can consider this issue properly. It is an irony of the modern world that the fate of the world is being determined by some senators in the U.S. Congress.We note that President Obama recently went to Norway to pick up a Nobel Prize, rightly or wrongly. But we can suggest that for him to honor this Nobel Prize, he should address the greatest threat to humanity that we have before us, climate change, and the greatest threat to security, climate change.
Tuvalu is calling for two legally-binding outcomes at COP15: a strengthened Kyoto Protocol, and a new Copenhagen Protocol that would cover the United States and the other non-Annex I countries not accounted for by Kyoto. Fry ended with a powerful confession, fighting through the tears to say:
I woke this morning, and I was crying, and that's not easy for a grown man to admit. The fate of my country rests in your hands.
Watch the whole intervention (that's U.N.-speak for statement). It was far and away the most tense, dramatic, and moving moment yet. And, I have to admit, it got a little dusty in the room.

Ben Jervey More Info

Ben is a writer and editor covering climate change, energy, and environment, and is currently the Climate and Energy Media Fellow at Vermont Law School. He was the original Environment Editor at GOOD Magazine and his work has appeared regularly in National Geographic News, Grist, DeSmogBlog, and OnEarth. He recently worked with the non-profit Focus the Nation to publish an Energy 101 primer. When living in New York City, he wrote a book, The Big Green Apple, on how to live a lower impact life in the city. A bicycle enthusiast, Ben has ridden across the United States and through much of Europe.
Some recent articles by Ben Jervey:
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COP15 Video: "The Fate of My Country Rests in Your Hands"