Copenhagen diary: Thursday 17 December 2009
After the chaos of yesterday, a sense of serenity descended on the centre of Copenhagen this morning, along with the snow.
But inside the climate change conference centre there has been mounting tension. This morning it still looked doubtful that there would be a text for world leaders to work from by the end of today, or tomorrow.
And there were also rumours that the Danish hosts were about to throw in the towel altogether.
They have been coming in for criticism over their handling of the process of the talks, accused of pulling fresh texts out of their back pockets whenever work on two main texts gets tricky.
This seems particularly to have annoyed the Chinese, who are working to the strict UN process that's been chuntering along for the past two years.
I asked Connie Hedegaard about this. She's the Danish environment minister who has been chairing the talks, and she confirmed that the talks ARE now focussed on TWO texts - one dealing with the Kyoto Protocol, under which only the developed world makes cuts, and a Copenhagen document of some kind.
Attempts to marry the two into one text seemed to have been abandoned, for now at least.
But now the US and Chinese teams are playing "hardball" in a stand-off over transparency.
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton told reporters this morning that "transparency" from the Chinese is a US bottom line. Without this there will be no money, she said.
What she means by transparency is what is known in conference jargon as the "MRVs", or monitoring, reporting and verification.
In English, this is is the method nations use to confirm that others are actually making the cuts greenhouse gas emissions that they promise, for example by sending in inspectors, perhaps.
But the Chinese are not budging.They said today that they will be "transparent" with the rest of the world so long as this involves dialogue and co-operation, but not if it means infringing on China's sovereignty - so inspections would be out.
This morning the US moved on long term finance, saying it would "play its role" in generating a $100bn fund for developing countries by 2020.
This would be both public and private money, but there was no explicit number on any of the amounts the US might give, or raise.
Nevertheless Ed Miliband, the UK Climate Change Secretary, said this was a big move, which he consdiers significant:
"The challenge for us is to make sure that sum doesn't get left on the table without a deal, that would be tragic" he told reporters.
Overall, he said he feels more optimistic today than yesterday, and that it's now a race against the clock:
"The deal remains very much in the balance... there are still challenges of process, and it's an uphill task."
He clearly thinks the whole thing could still be scuppered on matters of process, not substance - as he told Newsnight last night.
On China, the talks continue. "There are very tense talks going on with China over MRV," Mr Miliband said.
The chatter at the conference is that these negotiations could now drag on beyond Friday into Saturday.
Tomorrow, Europe could agree deeper emissions cuts, which could help. But with more than 100-odd matters for discussion still in square brackets - or not agreed - tonight's all-night talks will still be very difficult.