Confrontation has had a comeuppance here in Warsaw. Immediately following Yeb Sano’s impassioned statement on Monday, there was an apparently spontaneous chant of “We stand with you!” that was quickly squelched. Three students later unfurled a supportive banner and were then banned for 5 years from any UN climate talks. They and other youth seem to be holding a grudge against the system.
In a separate stream, there has been a lot of anti-Polish sentiment due to: Poland’s impeding the European Union’s climate efforts, their co-hosting a Coal Summit coinciding with the COP, their inviting polluting companies to sponsor the COP, and to anticipate greedily the economic opportunities presenting themselves in a melting Arctic -- to name but a few. On the other side, there is a nicely published book about Poland called the Black Paper.
While being interviewed, a question was posed to the (Polish) president of the COP, Marcin Korolec, about making progress and bringing this whole series of conferences to a satisfactory conclusion while raising some of the above-mentioned facts. Mr. Korolec pointed out that pointing out blame and shaming people was not apt to yield positive results, and that, indeed, we ought to try to be sympathetic to all sides so that at the very end all parties are willing to sign on and not block a final agreement.
It gives one food for thought.