The optimism showed by politicians and officials at the St Petersburg climate dialogue this week was real — some form of binding successor to the Kyoto protocol is almost certain to be agreed in Paris in December.
Why can the Paris talks succeed in reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions when a series of similar meetings over the past 20 years have failed?
The reasons are threefold.
The EU has made the right decision in sticking with its flagship climate policy, the Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS), which — following agreement by MEPs and EU member states on 5 May — will now be reformed by the end of the year.
For many years, it has been clear that the EU was facing a tough decision: either to reform the ailing scheme, or to scrap it.