Montreal summit wraps up with agreement to … have more summits

The U.N. climate talks in Montreal ended this weekend with plenty of drama but little progress. The big news, such as it is, is an agreement by a coalition of some 150 nations to convene new talks to generate a set of binding greenhouse-gas emissions caps for 2012 when Kyoto expires. The U.S. balked at joining those talks, but it did grudgingly agree to join a coalition of nearly 200 countries in an “open and nonbinding” dialogue. Even that modest commitment almost got scuttled: When it became clear on Thursday that ex-President Bill Clinton was coming to speak in Montreal, Bush officials threw a tantrum and threatened to pull out of the talks entirely. They eventually backed down, but then the U.S. delegation ended up stalking out of discussions Friday night, peeved about word choices. It finally sulked back in less than 24 hours later to agree to the aforementioned dialogue. Anybody out there raising a teenager? Got any tips?

Grist thanks its sponsors. Become one.