Delegates gather in Germany to picture a post-Kyoto future

The ongoing effort to figure out what in blazes to do when the Kyoto Protocol expires in 2012 is getting a boost this week and next, with officials from more than 160 countries gathering in Bonn, Germany, for a two-week brainstorm. The U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change bonanza, attended by more than 1,000 delegates, kicked off yesterday; it’s a precursor to a December summit in Bali, Indonesia, where the world will finally figure out its post-Kyoto plan. For real. We can do this, people. Of course, the usual suspects are being maddeningly predictable in their obstructionism: a proposal to open the Bali meeting with a presentation of the recent Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change reports, for instance, was opposed by a small group of countries including (wait for it) the U.S. and China. “What you traditionally find in the run-up to an important negotiating moment,” says top U.N. climate official Yvo de Boer, “is that not everybody is willing to put their cards on the table.”