Disappointing the outcome of the Copenhagen summit may have been. And chaotic – the word used by Ed Miliband, Secretary of State for Climate Change. But it was disappointing, in part, because expectations were so high, and one reason for the chaos was that so many countries, with such differing requirements and concerns, attended, not to speak of the specialists and NGOs demanding their say from the wings.
All is not – yet – lost. For all the recriminations emanating from different quarters yesterday, it should be recognised that there are times when lack of an agreement is a more honest result than an elegant, but empty, profession of unity whose sole purpose is to conceal differences. At least all present understood the importance of what they were trying to do. Everyone has agreed to reconvene in Germany in six weeks' time, bringing with them specific bids and targets. All effort should now be directed to ensuring that in Bonn, real, quantifiable, progress can be achieved.