Opening statements under the shadow of "climategate"

So after months of hype and expectation, the talks are finally underway. What is clear is that the chances of legally-binding rules being agreed are remote following the US’s failure to pass its bill through the Senate.

The collapse of Australia’s efforts last week means it too will have to come to Copenhagen empty handed. A political deal therefore seems the best that the talks can offer. But even a political agreement isn’t a given – the mood here among delegates I've spoken to varies from wild optimism to extreme cynicism.

Today’s plenary session of the Ad-Hoc Working Group on Long-Term Cooperation Action under the Convention highlighted long-entrenched positions among parties of the Convention. It's all too familiar rhetoric. China and her allies spoke of developed countries responses having been incoherent and inconsistent with the objectives agreed in Bali.

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