It could have been any one of the impressive line-up of speakers, Lord Paddy Ashdown, Jack Straw MP or Sir Christopher Meyer, but I suspect it was Bianca Jagger, who drew in the crowds, some standing or sitting on the floor.

The subject was the international context for co-operation and agreements on climate change.

On the whole the panel was glum indeed about the prospects for a new Kyoto, or Kyoto Plus as Bianca Jagger called it.

She was there in her role as international commentator on environmental and humanitarian issues.

Governments are guided by special interests not morality, she said and was pessimistic about the likelihood for an international commitment to tackle climate change.

She was unimpressed by the UK’s contribution, saying David Cameron had ‘rescinded on the promises’ on renewables that he made in the election campaign.

While she was pessimistic about the will of governments to come to agreement, she felt that young people had it in their power to force change.

“Social networking has broken down the barriers and has empowered people to hold governments accountable”, she said.

Alison Brown

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