Cancun, Dec 9th. Today was pretty much my last day at the Conference — I fly home tomorrow — so I was really keen to hear the up-date from Climate Commissioner Connie Hedegaard at five o’clock. Was there any progress?
The meeting took place in the Mais room of the Expo Centre in the Moon Palace Hotel (after we’d cleared out the previous meeting, which over-ran), and the Commissioner’s first words set the tone. “There is not much to report”. Later someone said, with a degree of cynicism, “It’s been a pretty normal Thursday”, and Ms. Hedegaard added “A pretty normal COP Thursday”.
Of course they may yet pull a rabbit out of the hat. Ideally, the event should finish tomorrow, but if they see any chance of the big prize, they could drag it out to Sunday. But the best guess is that the deadlock will remain on the main issue of a legally binding agreement, while the few nuggets I’ve already written about — forestry; technology transfer; a “Cancun Fund” — may be consolation prizes.
It still seems that only the EU (and a few smaller countries) really want a deal. But on the other hand, no one wants to be blamed for failure (except perhaps the US — it has a more grown-up attitude, and seems relaxed about taking the stick).
The Chinese are regarded as having played a good PR hand. At one point they issued a surprisingly accommodating press release, waited until they’d gleaned a good crop of headlines, and then quietly let it be known that there had been an error in translation, and their tough line remained.
The Guardian has made rather a fool of itself by hyping a week-old and very minor public document, failing to understand it, and sensationally claiming that the EU wanted to sink Kyoto. OK, so I don´t trust the EU — but I trust the Guardian even less.
One bright point in the unrelenting green folly of Cancun. To my surprise, I found that one of the 215 exhibitors at the show was actually climate-sceptic. It was the US public policy organisation CFACT, who are good guys. I’ve written the odd piece for them.
And they were organising a meeting at the show. Top prize for courage, and taking the fight to the enemy. The speakers were Dr. Roy W. Spencer of the University of Huntsville, Alabama, and my old friend Lord (Christopher) Monckton, whom I had last seen on our joint visit to the University of East Anglia CRU a few weeks back.
I went to the meeting. It was a joy to find common sense in an unexpected place, and a bright note in the Cancun week. I have a great photo taken with two CFACT staffers, one dressed as the Earth Mother and the other as a polar bear — but sadly I can’t download it till I get home.