Ringos and Bingos bend ear of climate delegates

COPENHAGEN Fri Dec 11, 2009 4:37am EST

Environmental activists, NGOs and guests attend the ''Klimaforum09'' conference in Copenhagen December 10, 2009. Copenhagen is the host city for the United Nations Climate Change Conference 2009, which lasts from December 7 until December 18. REUTERS/Christian Charisius

Environmental activists, NGOs and guests attend the ''Klimaforum09'' conference in Copenhagen December 10, 2009. Copenhagen is the host city for the United Nations Climate Change Conference 2009, which lasts from December 7 until December 18.

Credit: Reuters/Christian Charisius

COPENHAGEN (Reuters) - A "bed-in" with the YOUNGOs? A seminar with the BINGOs? Or for the intellectual heavyweights, perhaps an in-depth take on climate science with the RINGOs?

Delegates with a few minutes to spare from negotiations to save the world from devastating warming face a bewildering range of people trying to sway their opinions, or to influence world opinion through the thousands of journalists milling around.

The conference hall where the talks are held can hold 15,000 people and is packed most days.

Indigenous activists in colorful traditional costumes wander past negotiators in sharp suits. Clusters of lobbyists hunch round laptops in informal meetings. Protesters dressed as aliens plead: "Take me to your climate leader."

Everyone who is anyone has an acronym, and many try to make it catchy.

There are the youth non-governmental organizations (YOUNGOs), business and industry non-governmental organizations (BINGOs), and research and independent non-governmental organizations (RINGOs).

Some don't have quite the same ring, like UNDRIP, the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. The declaration has been an issue in talks to pin down a scheme that will limit emissions by paying poor nations to protect forests.

For first-timers, the jungle of acronyms and the clunky formality of the actual negotiations can be overwhelming.

"I've never been at a political thing like this before. They take five minutes just to welcome everybody, before they even start the talking, and then they still don't seem to say anything," said cartoonist Erik Petri, whose company Bigger Picture is creating a regular visual commentary on the summit.

"There needs to be some content so I can do some satire."

(Editing by Mark Trevelyan)

(For Reuters latest environment blogs, click on: http:/blogs.reuters.com/environment/)

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