In this commentary, the author argues that the alleged failure of the Copenhagen climate summit in December 2009, and in particular the role played by the developing countries, should be embraced as a political accomplishment opening up a moment of political opportunity. Admittedly Copenhagen was a political failure, albeit of a populist consensual policy practice that invokes the semi-scientific threat of an apocalyptic doomsday scenario to make everybody toe the line of the neo-liberal market economy. Now that we are at the point where this consensual policy approach has imploded under its own weight, the time is right to revive the climate and, by extension, the environment as a matter of genuine political concern that is open to struggle and contestation, in this way constituting an essential component of social change.

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