American Alden Meyer, the director of strategy and policy for the Union of Concerned Scientists, has spoken on a national and international level on the environment for the best part of three decades.

He believes the pressure of negotiators and politicians is the most intense he’s ever seen at a COP meeting, and still believes the US could give us a breakthrough on the talks.

speaking at the Bella Centre today (December 9)he said: “This is the most complicated COP in the history of the parties and I’ve been to all of them so I know something about it.

“The reason there’s so much intensity and anxiety in these halls is because this is really a three tier cake.

“The ones on the bottom tier, the negotiators, are aware their ministers and head of state arte due to arrive.”

Mr Meyer went on to explain environment ministers and world leaders were arriving at the talks much earlier than in previous years, mainly due to pressure at home and abroad.

This was putting an additional strain on the talks as the initial negotiators battled it out to give their bosses what they want to hear.

He pointed out there wasn’t the expectations in Rio or the ministerial attendance in Kyoto to fire the meetings like there is in Copenhagen.

He added: “There is some room for US movement but not much … because of the wasted Bush years the US in five years behind the world in getting to where we should be

“One of the problems is the US has been reluctant to take on an internationally binding regime of the sort in the Kyoto protocol … and that is creating a lot of problems with other countries.”

Luke Walsh

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