Connie Hedegaard, the chief negotiator and the President of the COP15 Conference has just resigned, as reported by Reuters. She will be replaced by Danish Prime Minister Rasmussen.
Speculation in Copenhagen and on twitter about the resignation seemed to indicate confusion about if this was unexpected or merely procedural. Brad Johnson, climate researcher and blogger for the Center for American Progress says of the move, "As negotiators furiously attempt to craft a deal in time for the arrival of over 110 heads of state, this move allows Hedegaard to run closed-door negotiations while Prime Minister Rasmussen presides over the formal talks."
11:14 AM CET: Tensions are a running high at the Copenhagen climate talks this morning. Friends Of The Earth and Avaaz, leading voices in calling for "a strong and fair" climate deal, have been told their entire delegations would not be allowed into the conference. No further explanation as to why has been given. This week, UN officials have greatly limited the number of NGO representatives allowed inside the conference, but this appears to be the first time entire delegations have been banned --these groups are particularly high profile. Members of the delegation then staged a sit-in at the entrance, including French member of parliament Jose Bove, as filmed by TheUptake. This comes at the same time that Danish police are bracing for a mass protest, organized by Climate Justice Action, that will march onto the Bella Center where the UN conference is being held, attempting to shut down the talks out of protest that real solutions to the climate crisis are not being discussed. Oneclimate.net reports that protesters have already been pre-emptively arrested en mass and taken away in police paddy wagons.
Danish police have been using aggressive tactics in the lead-up to today's events, including the arrest of a high-profile organizer of today's protest on the eve of the event, and up to 1,000 marchers at a demonstration on Saturday, most of whom were marching peacefully.
Danish TV station Ekstra Bladet has a livestream of the protest on their site, which has been showing footage of police beating protesters.
WATCH a livestream of the events inside the conference center, from TheUptake.org.