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Anger and unrest in Copenhagen

How wrong I was.  As the week has gone on, things have gone from bad to worse, and frustration about having to queue for hours on end in sub-zero temperatures just to get into the building has spilled over into anger and unrest.

Yesterday the heads of both the Brazilian and Indian delegations were stuck outside during one important meeting and today only four members of the Bangladesh delegation were allowed inside the plenary.

My Save the Children colleague from Bangladesh said she felt very frustrated with how negotiations were going and that she and her country’s delegates had been denied access – not least because Bangladesh is one of the countries worst affected by climate change.

According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, 17% of Bangladesh’s land mass and 30% of its food production could be lost by 2050 because of climate change. “It cost so much money to get here,” Elora told me. “It doesn’t feel like we have been able to fully negotiate on behalf of the children.”

I was in Bangladesh a few weeks ago and met families whose homes and livelihoods were destroyed when Cyclone Aila hit the country in May this year. Among them was Hasina, who told me how she was struggling to feed her two year old son Mizan and was worried about his health.

Millions of children around the world are ill and going hungry because of the effects of climate change. I just hope that global leaders who have been arriving here in Copenhagen over the past few days realise what is at stake. They need to listen to developing countries and reach a deal before it’s too late.

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