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The Emperor’s New Climate-Change Agreement

COPENHAGEN – Dressing up failure as victory has been integral to climate-change negotiations since they started 20 years ago. The latest round of talks in Durban, South Africa, in December was no exception.

Climate negotiations have been in virtual limbo ever since the catastrophic and humiliating Copenhagen summit in 2009, where vertiginous expectations collided with hard political reality. So as negotiators – and a handful of government ministers – arrived in Durban, expectations could not have been lower.