Copenhagen becomes Hopenhagen

Copenhagen's crucial climate talks have opened with thousands of delegates, protesters and media heading into the city's Bella Centre.

The centre is completely encircled by armed police officers who have set themselves up in and around the building.

Inside the centre representatives of 192 countries around the world began talks today (December 7) with most hoping for an agreement that will see developed countries fund climate cutting changes in poorer ones.

Danish prime minister, Lars Loekke Rasmussen, opened the talks with an optimistic speech, almost entirely in English, which has been replayed on local television throughout the day.

He put his backing behind an agreement coming out of the COP15 talks saying he wanted to be able to give something back to the world.

He said: “For the next two weeks Copenhagen will be Hopenhagen.

“By the end, we must be able to deliver back to the world what was granted us here today – hope for a better future.”

The city has really embraced the Hopenhagen theme with banners covering buildings and a huge concert venue set up in the town centre.

Denmark’s energy minister and conference president, Connie Hedegaard, was also optomistic in her opening remarks calling on the world to make a deal.

She said: “This is our chance. If we miss it, it could take years before we got a new and better one.”

Luke Walsh

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