The Guardian

Climate change enlightenment was fun while it lasted. But now it’s dead
The Guardian

The closer it comes, the worse it looks. The best outcome anyone now expects from December’s climate summit in Mexico is that some delegates might stay awake during the meetings. When talks fail once, as they did in Copenhagen, governments lose interest. They don’t want to be associated with failure, they don’t want to pour time and energy into a broken process. Nine years after the world trade negotiations moved to Mexico after failing in Qatar, they remain in diplomatic limbo. Nothing in the preparations for the climate talks suggests any other outcome.

A meeting in China at the beginning of October is supposed to clear the way for Cancún. The hosts have already made it clear that it’s going nowhere: there are, a top Chinese climate change official explains, still « huge differences between developed and developing countries ». Everyone blames everyone else for the failure at Copenhagen. Everyone insists that everyone else should move.

But nobody cares enough to make a fight of it. The disagreements are simultaneously entrenched and muted. The doctor’s certificate has not been issued; perhaps, to save face, it never will be. But the harsh reality we have to grasp is that the process is dead.