2010 may be remembered as the year that the climate change campaign movement, at least in its current form, officially gave up and died. The mortal injuries were inflicted at Copenhagen in December 2009, and since then it has been slowly dragging its decaying corpse towards the open grave at Cancun, where it will finally be interred next month.
If, as expected, Cancun ends in deadlock, then the final oration may be another ‘Danish text’, delivered in a mumble to a global audience that would rather be drowning its sorrows in the pub than being made to sit in a draughty church listening to sermons delivered by those who never really believed in the first place. The funeral will be attended by the great and the good from the worlds of politics, the media and campaigning, and various vacuous celebrities chasing the coffin in pursuit of a new bandwagon to jump on. And whilst there will be the odd voice of dissent, even amongst the devout these will be about as welcome as Reverend Fred Phelps at a remembrance service.
The inheritance will be contested between the US, China and the EU, who will want the paperwork done, dusted and buried as quickly as possible. Whilst the offspring such as Bolivia will be left outside banging on the door about a legacy that everyone else had long ago given up on. This is the legacy that could have limited average global temperature rises to 2°C or, heaven forbid, even 1.5°C, by the end of the century. But what makes these offspring particularly unwelcome is their temerity to argue that fighting climate change is about making social and political reforms that would cut to the heart of the capitalist system, and demand their pound of flesh in return for the ecological genocide inflicted on them by the developed world.