Environment | Hopes grow cold for a landmark climate treaty at Copenhagen
by Daniel James Devine
Posted 11/20/09, 10:06 am
It was early November, the last day of a United Nations conference in Barcelona. Delegates from 175 countries had gathered to wrangle over carbon dioxide emissions, and Yvo de Boer, a middle-aged man in glasses and a yellow tie, sat down in front of a microphone to summarize the week-long talks. As UN climate secretary, de Boer was saddled with the task of coaching world leaders into a climate change treaty by December: "Governments can deliver a strong deal in Copenhagen," he said in a firm, sharp voice. "Nothing has changed my confidence in that."