The “Earth Negotiations Bulletin,” the best summary of the climate talks, has this (in part) to say about the last official meeting before the up-coming Paris talks;
“Leaving [the last UNFCCC meeting before the Paris conference, held in October in Bonn], many delegates concurred with Laurence Tubiana, who spoke for the incoming COP 21 Presidency, that the text produced at this session was far from what parties had hoped to have in their hands ahead of negotiations in Paris. …
“Almost no time at ADP 2-11 was spent addressing the decision text necessary to flesh out the hoped-for concise agreement. The Paris package is meant to constitute of both agreement and decision text. Some had hoped for a virtuous cycle in which the details on the “how” would be captured in decision text, thus allowing the agreement only to focus on the “what,” with parties able to make compromises within the agreement text, once assurances on how issues were being dealt with in the decision text were elaborated. Instead, at ADP 2-11 a vicious cycle continued to inhibit progress, as parties were loath to remove anything from the agreement without knowing what would be in the decision text, but also found it difficult to work on decisions without knowing what would be in the agreement. ….
“Reporting that Hurricane Patricia was about to hit its coastline with unprecedented strength, Mexico, described the government’s desperate work to move coastal populations out of harm and made an emotional appeal for all parties to set aside their differences and focus on the work ahead. While delegates expressed solidarity with the affected populations, many in the room reflected on the increasing chasm between the international climate policy-making process and the mounting real-world impacts of a changing climate.”
I find it hard to believe that Paris could be as big a catastrophe as Copenhagen 2009 (it’s all relative of course – the battle to save our species from the unintended consequences of its own ingenuity was already lost by May 1992, when the Europeans couldn’t get a domestic carbon tax through thanks to massive opposition from industry, and when/so they blinked at the American threat to snub the Rio Earth Summit if there were targets and timetables in the proposed climate treaty. Everything since then – Kyoto, the Hague, Montreal, Copenhagen, Durban – has been a series of yelps as the species plummets towards an unforgiving earth, its parachutes shredded by the scissors of vested interests and inertia.)
But catastrophe-wise, Paris MIGHT be. Holy cow we are as dumb as a rock.