But it may be time for some world leader (President Obama?) to cut to the chase and say, from the outset, that propelling meaningful action to constrain emissions in the middle of a global growth spurt (and a lingering financial mess) requires a fundamental reboot.
The meetings of major emitters, first conceived under President George W. Bush and built on by Obama, are a smart step, but without more concrete goals and deadlines they, too, threaten to dribble off to inconsequentiality.
In the meantime, it’s probably wise to split the climate issue into its component parts — for instance pursuing international partnerships for energy innovation and building resilience in vulnerable places to any climate hazard. Trying to hash out such initiatives in one forum is simply impossible.
Get Used to ‘Soft’ Climate Diplomacy
Reboot. Exactly the right word for our times.