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Last month, ministers and several hundred government officials gathered to agree on the final details of a climate change treaty they know may never come into force.

But while the negotiators spent their time arguing over arcane rules — such as the one permitting the inclusion of genetically modified forests in calculations of carbon sinks — the entire Kyoto Protocol is in real danger of completely falling apart.

In this editorial, Sunita Narain, director of the Centre for Science and Environment in New Delhi, India, warns that governments need to accept reality — namely that climate change is so real that only urgent and tough action will do. And while the Kyoto Protocol is full of loopholes, Narain argues that the only option available is to make it work, even if that means taking forcible measures to persuade 'renegade' nations to join.

Link to full editorial in Down to Earth