The conference chamber in Copenhagen stood empty again on Thursday as hopes for a a strong climate change deal grew ever more remote.
Talks were temporarily suspended as hosts Denmark admitted they had not been able to come up with new draft texts to put to delegates.
It had been hoped the drafts would break the deadlock between developed and developing nations on sharing cuts in greenhouse gasses.
There are rumours of the summit running on into Sunday but even with two days extra negotiating time, many officials are already warning any deal will have to wait until a meeting in Mexico next year.
A Danish proposal to break up the talks into smaller groups to speed up progress foundered on opposition from poorer countries – backed by China – who fear their voices will not be heard.