Our first day was full of too polite exchanges (“After you, Claude. No, after YOU, Cecil,” or whatever might be the Chinese equivalent). There was some substance, and enough of it to make the exchanges of value, but some things of significance were undoubtedly lost through the inadequacies of interpretation.
I was nervous about my ‘keynote’ speech, not being entirely clear what might work and what might not. I had two objectives: first, to tell the Chinese that the consequences of their government’s refusal at Copenhagen to accept any reference to mandatory CO2 reductions even for developed countries had sapped the political will in Europe to take the actions necessary; second, to tell them that with the Americans off the stage it was time for them to start providing some leadership.” The speech seemed to go down well enough. I made a few other contributions during subsequent discussions.
A Conservative MP later said to me: “You have a flaw with your speaking style. I rather admire it. You don’t seem able to speak without saying something.”
Must be one of the nicest compliments I have ever received. If only it were true of all situations.