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Right – it’s an “agreement”… to punt down the field for some transient face-saving. Obama said he had to fly back to Washington early because of the weather (riiiight ….). These guys have signally failed us. The Americans failed on emissions reductions. The Chinese failed on transparency. Plenty of credit to go around, as it turns out. But the problem doesn’t go away, and efforts to find solutions outside of the failed negotiating framework now become more crucial and urgent than ever. We at CGD will be doing our part. Stay tuned.

And in the meantime, it’s well worth recalling the last stanza of this poem:

The Hollow Men

T.S. Eliot

This is the way the world ends

This is the way the world ends

This is the way the world ends

Not with a bang but a whimper.

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CGD blog posts reflect the views of the authors drawing on prior research and experience in their areas of expertise. CGD does not take institutional positions.