Or collapse in exhaustion. Or take to the streets in protest. All are presumably happening right now, as officials from 195 countries finally adopted a historic climate change accord on Saturday, a day after the conference had been scheduled to conclude.
As officials filed into the plenary hall, the mood was celebratory, with cheers, applause, smiles, and thumbs up, the delegates snapping selfies with each other. The jovial mood turned apprehensive as the start of the session was delayed for nearly two hours, raising the specter of a last-minute collapse, but the delay was attributed to technical and translation issues caused by sleep-deprived staffers. In the end, the agreement was adopted to a standing ovation.
Earlier this week, officials from East Timor joked about nominating French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius, the chair of the climate talks, for a Nobel Peace Prize if the talks were successful, and based on the public reaction from world officials right now, it’s not hard to imagine such a proposal gathering support.
There’s a lot to parse in the deal, and not everyone is completely happy with it—for good reason. But there’s also no doubt this is a significant agreement that puts to rest many of the ghosts of the failed Copenhagen conference six years ago.