Warning: I’ve only had four hours sleep (excluding my little kip on the conference chairs (left), so let’s see how I go writing this blog….

What kept me up last night was the US negotiating team triggering a major delay and downward spiral in the talks. A meeting that was meant to take 15 minutes (for officials to hand over a negotiating text) took nearly 12 hours because of last minute demands for massive changes to the text. This left the talks in disarray.

12 hours later we could finally move on, but the situation was ridiculous and unacceptable, particularly given how swift the US was to criticise Tuvalu when it delayed the talks (for much more legitimate reason) for just five hours earlier this week. Note also how critical New Zealand was of that move by Tuvalu. It stayed deathly silent on the US’ obstructions.

The talks are now on a knife edge. The next point where negotiations will be tested is when the ministers have to hand over the negotiating texts to leaders in the next day or so. For New Zealand’s part, this will be a huge test not only of John Key, but also of our Ministers on the ground, Nick Smith and Tim Groser.

As for the alleged fanfare over New Zealand’s Global Research Alliance on Agriculture, in reality it’s neither here nor there. It’s a perfectly good initiative  and it’s good that it’s being done, but it’s slightly irrelevant to the more pressing issues under discussion here (ie – targets and financing). It’s a bit like being served up an attractive fruit salad when you really need is a big plate of steak, eggs and chips.

I’ve been far more interested in the real stuff that’s going  on, ie- the negotiations. Because that's wha'ts going to help determine whether we save ourselves from climate change.  Most recently, countries have started complaining that they've been shut out of consultations between the 'big boys' (as Tim Groser calls the most influential countries).

John Key arrives tonight. It’s understood leaders are already talking at length before they arrive. When the leaders actually meet around the table it’ll be to finalise what they tell the rest of the world. The work that ministers do in next day or two may well determine whether the leaders end up in a position to come to a firm agreement or not. The world waits....