Being Nicolas Sarkozy

Very few people have the opportunity to be the President of the French Republic in their lifetime, but today I was lucky enough to take up the mantle, at least for half an hour and be Nicolas Sarkozy.

Oxfam campaigners gathered at Øksnehallen - the space offered to observers, who are no longer able to attend the talks as space is limited following the arrival of over 110 heads of state and their entourages - dressed as the famous "big heads". The caricature world leaders were paraded around holding mugshot signs stating that history will judge them on the outcome of these talks. I wondered if we should have delegated a French speaker, instead of myself, to play Sarkozy, and indeed as I passed some journalists I was asked, "Parlez-vous français?" and had to reply stupidly, "non…". Let's hope the real world leaders have more satisfactory answers to our own questions.

The sombre photoshoot and other activities surrounding the talks today seemed to be mirroring the sorry turn the discussions have taken. After two more weeks of negotiations, there is real concern that the talks could collapse, or that developing countries will be forced to accept an ineffectual deal. Before the big heads arrived, a quiet candlelit "vigil for survival" was held; each of the 1,200 candles held by those at the vigil read, "this candle represents 10,000 people who want a real deal", and some of the climate justice fasters, two of whom have now eaten nothing for an astonishing 42 days, spoke about how the stark truth of climate change has motivated them to take such drastic action.

It's minus 3 degrees centigrade in Copenhagen; and with many activities still planned and the potential for the negotiations still to go in any direction, let's hope that the events in the final days of the conference - both inside and out - will warm our hearts.

Share this page: