Cancun: Time to banish the shadow of Copenhagen

Cancun. It's not a name that leaps off the tongue as the most likely venue for an international summit.

Yet the Mexican resort is hosting this year's big round of UN climate talks - starting next week.

Until now, it's as if the city has been overshadowed by last year's climate talks in Copenhagen.

The chaos and disappointment of those talks certainly cast a long shadow.

It's a shadow many people are hoping a strong dose of tropical sunshine will finally dispel.

Behind the scenes

Since Copenhagen, talks have been continuing throughout this year.

Out of the limelight, negotiators from countries across the world have been coming together every few months to thrash through the issues that were so intractable in the Danish capital. Progress has been slow.

Friends of the Earth isn't expecting a full-blown agreement to tackle climate change to come out of the talks over the next couple of weeks.

Yet the negotiations are vital.

The latest science is telling us the need for action is becoming more pressing than ever. Wildfires in Russia, drought in Niger and disastrous floods in Pakistan this year are all pointers that governments need to act.

And Cancún could lay firm foundations for a strong and fair international agreement at the next big summit - in South Africa next year.

That's why we need your help more than ever.

Improving the odds

Out of the media spotlight, many countries are hoping they can sneak weaker measures through the back door.

Our campaigners will be working tirelessly to make sure that doesn't happen.

But they need your help to put pressure on the governments that are up to no good – and to make sure we have the best possible chance of avoiding dangerous climate change.

I'll be reporting on what's really happening behind the security cordon around the Moon Palace hotel.

And I'll be keeping you up to date on how you can work with us for the strong and fair agreement we need. Please stay tuned.

Henry Rummins is a communications and media officer at Friends of the Earth. He's travelling to the climate talks in Cancún to report as part of the Friends of the Earth International delegation.