200 Protesters Arrested at U.N. Climate Change Summit

COPENHAGEN, Denmark, Dec. 15 (UPI) — Protesters, angry over the lack of progress during a climate change summit, set fire to temporary barricades in Copenhagen, Denmark, police said.

Authorities said they used tear gas to disperse the crowd for the first time since the climate change summit began last week, The New York Times reported Tuesday. About 200 protesters were arrested.

Police said they expected clashes with protesters to escalate as the talks conclude this week.

British Prime Minister Gordon Brown was expected to arrive at the U.N.-sponsored summit Tuesday, two days ahead of schedule, to try to goose progress at the talks.

Early Tuesday, lines of government delegates and representatives of environmental organizations trying to get in to the conference stretched several hundred yards outside the conference facility, the Times reported. Thousands of participants endured hours-long waits to pick up credentials Monday.

The United Nations said in an e-mailed statement more than 45,000 people applied to attend the conference, nearly triple the facility’s capacity.

“An overwhelming number of those who applied arrived on Monday, causing congestion in the area outside the U.N. venue, which is under the control of the Danish police,” the statement said.

Copyright 2009 by United Press International

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