Representatives from nearly 200 nations will gather in Bali, Indonesia, next week to discuss what’s to be done about this whole climate-change thing once the Kyoto Protocol expires in 2012. So what’s the word on the street? United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has been clear about his expectations: “The world’s scientists have spoken, clearly and with one voice. In Bali, I expect the world’s policymakers to do the same.” Rajendra Pachauri, chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, is equally optimistic, believing “some of the delegations who have been obstructionist in the past will be much more cooperative this time.” Helpful in that area may be new Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, who has pledged to quickly sign on to Kyoto. But U.S. delegate Paula Dobriansky favors “each country designing its own mix” of measures, and China’s vice foreign minister has said the country will not be ready “for a large period of time” to take on binding emissions caps. What will happen? Tune in next week!

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