UK attempt to push world "Beyond Copenhagen"
With the UEA climate e-mails report still fresh from the printers, Ed Miliband, the climate change secretary, chose today to attempt a "kick start" for international talks on a new global climate deal.
He offered a major sop to developing countries dismissive of the political agreement that emerged from Copenhagen. They want a legally-binding treaty, under which developed countries agree to cut their emissions.
The UK is offering to sign up to a further round of the Kyoto Protocol, so long as the world embraces a second legally-binding treaty at the same time. According to Ed Milband, this so-called twin-track approach is "a signal that we are determined to unblock negotiations".
He sees a role for the UK in being out front: "We do not want to let a technical argument about whether we have one treaty or two derail the process. We are uncompromising about the need for a legal framework, but willing to be flexible about the precise form that that takes."
In the closing days of Copenhagen there was much talk of China's hardball negotiating style and use of divisions over Kyoto to scupper hopes of a legally-binding deal. Take those divisions away and it's harder for China to use them as an excuse not to engage.
Today's move is also a deliberate nod to Kyoto because it has gained what Ed Miliband called "totemic" status for many in the developing world. The hope is to leave behind what he described today as the "painful and frustrating process" of Copenhagen.
That won't be easy. The US, a vital part of any global deal, is set hard against Kyoto and president Obama is bogged down in trying to usher through domestic climate legislation let alone having to cope with a complicated two-tier international arrangement.
Gordon Brown is doing his bit to help get things moving. This evening, at Downing Street, he'll host the first meeting of the UN's high level advisory group on climate finance. Without finance there will most likely be no global deal at all. Today's meeting is the first since last year's pledge by developed countries to find money over the long-term to help developing countries tackle climate change.
This was described by senior UK officials today as one of the few breakthroughs of Copenhagen.
The finance group includes four heads of state, several finance ministers, President Obama's chief economics advisor Larry Summers and the financier George Soros. Their mission - and they've apparently accepted it - is to find $100 billion per annum by 2020.
They'll be considering all options, including a so-called Robin Hood tax on international financial transactions and a levy on global aviation and shipping. They hope to report to the next big international climate meeting, in Cancun, Mexico, at the end of the year.