Fred Pearce looks at what hopes there are for reaching agreement on a replacement for the Kyoto protocol as world experts get together from 29th November to 10th December in Cancun, Mexico. "In truth, hopes are not high for reaching agreement on a replacement for the Kyoto protocol. ...Three things have gone wrong. First, the global recession has given politicians other priorities. Second, in international diplomacy, failure breeds failure. Having not delivered last year, few leaders want to invest political capital in another try. And finally, there is the cataclysm that has overtaken climate science in the meantime.