Climate of climate change talks ‘stuffy’: Ed Miliband

Climate Change Secretary Ed Miliband yesterday told MPs that recent talks ahead of December’s meeting in Copenhagen to agree a successor to the Kyoto Protocol were “stuffy” and that “someone really needed to open a window”.

Miliband complained that the venue chosen in Barcelona for the most recent meeting was not suitable, saying: “The room we were in was extremely stuffy and it became hard to concentrate as time went on. Someone did eventually open a window but then someone decided to crank up the radiators to supposedly keep the room from becoming too cold. The other difficulty was that there were so many bright lights that a lot of us started getting headaches. I ended up leaving after half an hour as I couldn’t take it anymore, plus the room smelt quite musty, which didn’t help matters.”

Miliband told MPs that UN negotiations “are moving too slowly and not going well,” and that this was due to a “history of mistrust” between developed and developing nations, all of whom were “stuck in entrenched positions with regard to the optimum room conditions required for debating global policy”.

Hopes of an agreement being reached are fading fast, with European Commission chief Jose Manuel Barroso saying it was “obvious” that a “satisfactory conference venue” could not be provided in Copenhagen.

Mr. Barroso went on to say that because of this, further talks would have to be held in Stuttgart early next year: “If we fail to reach an agreement in Stuttgart, then we may have to hold further talks in Brussels next summer. If those talks break down then we may have to conduct further talks in Dublin, although we may explore the possibility of going further afield and looking at somewhere like Brazil or the USA. If we find somewhere with exactly the right climate agreeable to all delegates, then we can hopefully get down to some serious negotiation, so long as the lighting doesn’t cause any problems.”

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