The message coming from the climate change conference in Durban is that expectations of the outcome have to be practical.
As more delegates from around the world arrive at the summit in South Africa which began in late November, the UN Secretary General sounded pragmatic.
“We must be realistic about expectations for a breakthrough in Durban. We know the reasons, grave economic troubles in many countries, abiding political differences, conflicting priorities and strategies for responding to climate change. It may be true, as many say, the ultimate goal of a comprehensive and binding climate change agreement, may be beyond our reach for now,” said Ban Ki Moon.
The conference has produced some tentative results concerning China, which has said it is willing to accept a quantified emissions reduction agreement on the years post-2020.
Protests continue during the 12-day summit, with many angry at what they see as the reluctance of rich countries to reduce their carbon emissions at the expense of poorer countries.