Next week the negotiators working toward the next iteration of the Kyoto Treaty reconvene in Bonn to try and make some progress. They're months behind schedule and last time they met they achieved nothing, despite the presence, for the first time, of the Obama administration.
But just because progress isn't being made doesn't mean nothing's happening. Behind the scenes there have been some real positive developments, unfortunately they may never see the light.
In the last six months nations like China, Mexico, Brazil and South Africa have all made clear that they're prepared to make radical changes compared to business as usual if only the developed world will do the same. With much of the G77 group of developing countries prepared to follow suit the pressure is squarely on the rich, industrialised world to move. How are they doing?
The EU promotes itself as a leader but still hasn’t come up with the long-promised financial commitment to help developing countries adapt to climate change, stop deforestation and move to a low carbon economy. In this year of bailout's you'd think they could come up with the 35 billion a year needed to save the planet - don't they know that's where the banks are based? On June 9 EU finance ministers have another chance to put this right.
Japan is bowing to industry lobbying by considering an emissions increase by 2020 instead of playing its part in the 40% cuts the world needs.
Canada is being driven by the dirtiest fossil fuel industry in the world, tarsands, to come up with, at most, a minus 2% cut by 2020.
Australia is known as a nation of sheep and coal and things are no different with their climate policy. Prime Minister Kevin Rudd is taking a "no we can't" attitude, insisting that other countries commit to taking action before Australia adopts serious targets.
New Zealand has abandoned the majority of its climate policies. It has no 2020 target and a weak 2050 target. Some members of the government don’t even accept the climate science. Just a year ago New Zealand was a climate leader - look what we had to do to our video! (32 seconds in)
The big problem though remains the USA. With the Waxman Bill focused on returning US emissions to their 1990 levels (a cut of zero percent) all the nations listed above are finding plenty of room to stall. What's needed now is for the USA to spell out a strong deal and start negotiating toward it, and if they won't do that, Europe, Brazil and China need to push them to the point where they will.