The news from Poznan COP14 Climate Change conference seems to be fairly dire. In a dry statement, the leader of the WWF’s Climate Initiative, Kim  Carstensen describes progress during the first week of negotiations as “sloth-like”. Wouldn’t it be nice if all WWF statements had to come with an endangered-species simile? He goes on, scathingly:

 “Industrialised countries have been sitting on their wallets far too
long, and laggards like Canada, Japan, Russia and Australia have not
even set domestic targets for 2020. These countries
should finally respond to what developing countries are proposing – to
take us into 2009 on a high note and to ignite the spark needed to put
us on track for a strong Copenhagen treaty.” 


The mammothness of the process is dramatised in this interview on the Guardian site in which George Monbiot gives UN Climate Chief Yvo de Boer a very hard time for letting the United States off the hook at Bali and onwards. Monbiot is free talk with an activist’s shining purity and directness. De Boer, hobbled by his role as a negotiator and a bureaucrat, presents a target as big as a barn door. Mobiot  scores easy hits from the unfortunate de Boer – who will be forever remembered for crying tears of frustration at Bali last year. The truth is, the sort of negotiations are, of their nature, sloth-like.

Whether we can afford for them to be sloth-like, is another matter. This morning’s protest at Stansted reminds us that there seem to be increasing numbers of people who don’t think we can.

Thanks to Pierre Pouliquin for the sloth