Scientists called for ‘unprecedented’ action. But the global climate talks aren’t built for that.

  • “We cannot solve a crisis without treating it as a crisis,” said one young activist.

  • But in Poland, the IPCC’s findings on what the world would need to do to hold off the worst impacts of climate change collided with the reality of a bureaucratic process that requires consensus among nearly 200 nations. It was never designed to be nimble. Instead of dramatic new commitments, diplomats were left to wrestle with what to outsiders may seem like semantics, arguing about whether to “welcome” or “note” or “recognize the role” of the report.