What made Copenhagen such a charged atmosphere was the clash of two forces. On one side: the rising   expectations, engagement, and intensity of civil society. Activists have spent the last two years characterizing COP15 as humanity’s last chance to save itself; success was characterized as a full legally binding treaty targeted at 350 ppm of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. On the other side: a set of political circumstances and leaders that rendered activist aspirations all but impossible.

David Roberts, Grist.com 12.09
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