Cancun Climate Change blog

At the end of week one these talks are still as disorientating as my return to my hotel last night after the NGO social event to "celebrate" those who have survived to the half way point.

However, the slight glint in the eyes of colleagues pouring over the text of a draft proposal on the continuation of the Kyoto Protocol released on Sunday morning, suggested things hadn't completely broken down here. "A good place to start the negotiations from at least" seems to be the consensus.

Basically, the text in front of the parties contains text covering most countries positions - thus helping to keep nations from throwing a wobbly and walking out, as had been threatened by some nations earlier in the week.

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The continuation of Kyoto draft text came a day after an earlier draft text on Long-Term Cooperative Action. So, right now, negotiators are facing a lot of challenges with the two draft proposals, but thankfully both contain options that could result in a positive outcome in Cancun.

The proposal on the Kyoto Protocol contains two main approaches: leaving the Kyoto Protocol as is, or making it stronger. Negotiators need to make it stronger.

Keen to avoid a repeat of the car crash that was Copenhagen, the Mexican presidency has done a good job so far in keeping the process transparent and the parties talking.

One issue preying on the minds of most NGO observers is whether nations desperate to reach agreement will aim low. The "any deal is better than no deal" scenario worries anyone looking for an outcome that ensures emission cuts agreed relate in any meaningful way to those demanded by the science.

Most ministers began arriving in Cancun this weekend ahead of the final week of negotiations. They will be greeted by many delegates sporting Stop Climate Chaos Scotland lanyards and pin badges reading "Follow Scotland's 42%" - in reference to Scotland's world leading climate law - which have been happily snapped up by people keen to hear of the leadership being shown on climate change by Scotland.

Here's hoping Scotland's example, along with the many other inspiring ideas being shown off by nations and NGOs in the main exhibition centre, help engender an atmosphere conducive to securing good progress in the week to come.