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Eleven days in December

The climate change caravan has arrived in Copenhagen. But who are the people doing the actual negotiating—haggling over every word—and what are they likely to achieve?

By Sam Knight   November 2009

So here we are. Copenhagen. Showtime. In the course of 11 days this December, the leaders of the world must agree on their self-appointed task of saving it. Seventeen years after they first convened at the UN’s Earth Summit in Rio and acknowledged the threat of global warming, the calamity has advanced on every front. The ice is melting, the waters are drying or rising, the birds and the beasts and the bees are dying. Yet humanity, perversely, flourishes—since that summit, the world’s population has grown by 1.5bn and it will grow again by 50 per cent by 2050 to…

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