Danish PM issues plea for leaders to attend Copenhagen talks
With just six weeks to go until the United Nation's Copenhagen conference on climate change, Denmark's Prime Minister Lars Loekke Rasmussen has issued a direct plea to US President Barack Obama to attend the conference.
Speaking to Newsnight he said:
"Without the presence of heads of state and governments we can't close a deal which can come into immediate effect and can be implemented immediately... It is a direct call to President Obama. But not only to him.
"This isn't just a question about the American position, I feel strong willingness from many leaders, and I have spoken to many in the last couple of weeks, that what we need now is to bring those bilateral talks into one meeting room."
And the shuttle diplomacy is beginning to intensify.
It turns out that the Danish capital itself was the venue for one set of pre-Copenhagen talks, earlier this week.
Newsnight listened in, as cross-party teams of legislators from 16 countries finalised two days of discussions.
The talks were hosted by GLOBE International , one of a number of organisations working to coerce the Copenhagen process into shape, outside of the mainstream political process.
It was a good chance to catch some of the key players.
Parliamentarians from Brazil, Japan, Mexico, the United States and South Africa were among those represented, but it was the Chinese delegation that attracted the most interest.
The team included the architect of China's climate legislation, Congressman Wang Guangtao.
He chairs the Environment & Resources Protection Committee of the National People's Congress, and wrote ground-breaking climate legislation passed in China only this August.
He is also very close to the small team that will eventually negotiate China's position at the Copenhagen Conference.
A global fund to help developing countries switch to low carbon growth and adapt to climate change is the key sticking point ahead of the UN conference.
Mr Wang did not want to talk about specific numbers, saying it was not just about the amount of money on offer, but recognition by rich countries of their responsibility for past emissions.
He also said developed countries must recognise China's obligation to bring millions of its own people out of poverty:
"China has 250 million people living in poverty. Eliminating poverty and problems of survival is something that the Chinese central government and government of all levels are working very hard on.
"While we are trying to solve a massive poverty problem, we also have to tackle climate change... We are being responsible in tackling climate change. China is definitely doing it best under these circumstances."
One goal for the GLOBE forum was that even if everything fails in December, national parliamentarians will at least be better prepared to push for action at home, and with a clearer idea of how far each country might go in international negotiations.
Denmark's Mr Rasmussen spoke at the forum. When we met him he was clearly still worried about the level of finance on offer to the developing world.
He put in a plea to European leaders meeting on Thursday and Friday to finalise their position.
They are said to be about to propose a global sum of around 100bn euros (£90bn) a year, as they prepare their position before meeting negotiators from the rest of the world in Barcelona next week at the last official session before the UN conference itself.
"Finance is the make or break element," Mr Rasmussen told me. "... the European Commission has proposed figures... I think it you look at the top figures proposed by the commission that's the amount we will need...
"I really think that Europe has had a leading role in these negotiations in the last two years, and in order to keep this leadership I simply call on European leaders to agree concrete figures next week."