Copenhagen: over to you, men and women of the press

With 5,000 journalists accredited by last week to cover the United Nations Climate Change Summit in Copenhagen, this will be one of the most journalists’ populated global meetings in many years.

The Bella Center where the fifteenth edition of the Conference of Parties  Conference (COP 15) meeting takes place starting today through to December 18 is a magnificent piece of architectural masterwork that will see in excess of 15,000 people negotiating, haggling, cutting deals, cursing and some even losing hope.

It will be busy time for members of the fourth estate. With over a hundred presidents expected to attend including global political rock star US president Barack Obama-and he has roots in my country Kenya where his father hailed from, a horde of ministers, negotiators, more than 20,000 Non-Governmental Organisations in attendance, story angles will be as varied as it will be confusing for some of us.

The negotiations will sometimes-and maybe most of the times-be covered in hard and heavy technical and legal communication that some of the journalists will be scratching their heads at what the meaning or the importance is.

Sometimes they will be behind closed doors yet the umbilical cord with which the bigger world population will be feeding from the Bella center is the team of journalist at the meeting.

The topics will be as wide-ranging as the people attending and countries and groups/interests represented. There will be the climate change politics playing out between the big boys like the United States of America on the one hand and emerging economies like China and other developing countries on other hand.

For the next two weeks words like adaptation, mitigation, reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation in developing countries, cutting down of greenhouse gas emissions (targets for industrialised countries, what major developing countries will do about growth paths and limiting emissions) will be abundant. Industrial development and attendant environmental injustices, climate change refugees, compensation will be some of the catchphrases.

Scientists will be seeking to convince that without cutting of emissions from human related activities that have resulted in global warming and dangerously beyond the pre-industrial age, socio-economic and environmental disaster is now staring us in the face.

Journalists will be frantically up and about for stories, they will be stalking delegates, liaising with reputable NGOs-although these NGOs have interests-for insights into behind closed door talks and covert manouvers.

Press men and women can be very impatient but here the massive security detail is something you can’t avoid and delays on queues will almost be a must each passing day. The terrifyingly cold Europe weather at this time of year is another load in their bag of hassles.

This notwithstanding, work has to be done. The premium attached to this meeting can be deciphered from some of the mass media establishments with sending a team of journalist. Both the small, medium and big media house in Copenhagen. Over to you, men and women of the press.