Tears and cheers in the Plenary hall. Signs of progress?

Food & climate change article written on the 11 Dec 2010

I just witnessed a sign of great hope at the climate talks in Cancun. Today new drafts of the new climate agreement were released. Initial responses have been mostly positive and it appears that there has been significant compromise from many countries.

This text forms the framework for a new climate treaty and makes a range of positive progressions. For example, the text clearly sets out the establishment of a new climate fund to support poor and vulnerable communities. In addition, it acknowledges that current commitments fall short of what is needed and sets out a process for review. This progress may not seem like much at first glance, however, they represent significant political compromises that contribute to creation of a fair, ambitious and binding international climate deal.

In a stocktaking meet the President of the conference official presented the texts in a massive plenary hall. The was standing room only as the hall was packed with country representatives and observers. When the president finished presenting the new texts spontaneous applause erupted across the room. After several minutes people started to stand and cheer. The atmosphere was electric as all saw a glimpse of hope in what has been a frustrating couple of weeks. There is hope!