Since we’ve been in Rio I’ve been struggling to stop humming Copacabana (the name of a beach here), the girl from Ipanema (Ipanema, another beach) and Her name is Rio. Not sure it makes me look good in the convention centre … or in front of my boss.
There are some fabulous hats here in the centre, particularly multicoloured wrap-around ones from West Africa and pure white felt fedoras on central Asian-looking gentlemen. Its also the first time I’ve seen a negotiator walking down a corridor with a briefcase perched on her head.
After yesterday’s great day in Brazil’s Atlantic rainforest with our Ministers and journalists, having successfully not left anyone behind, today was very different story. It was all about the issues: oceans, forests, climate, wildlife and the holy grail of sustainable development.
Darkened cars are appearing on the streets. They have police outriders on motorbikes and you have two seconds to see if you can spot which flag is fluttering on the bonnet as a clue to which Prime Minister or grand frommage is inside before they sweep away. The Chiefs have come to town to take over negotiations from the Indians.
The atmosphere in the convention centre is hotting up. Sitting in the rooms full of people from all corners of the world, people are tapping away on laptops and phones, blogging, tweeting, facebooking - all communicating to folks at home in their own languages.
The stakes are rising as it's now or never to see if one hundred and ninety-odd countries can muster the courage to do something special on issues like halting the loss of rainforests, reinvigorating the desire to tackle our climate problems and figure out how to let people prosper without wrecking ecosystems.
Nick Clegg will be our big cheese as he’s standing in for David Cameron. He will need to come to Rio with some serious ambition as things are not looking that great. The quality and quantity of the agreements are dipping below what’s needed. We’re rooting for him to come out guns blazing and to prove our Government is the greenest ever.
We’ve been a bit shocked by how little governments are talking about halting climate change - the biggest single threat to wildlife and a serious block to getting many out of poverty. And unfortunately there is achingly little ambition on saving our rainforests and helping ecosystems prosper.
However, there are some glimmers of hope such as a helping hand to help protect our oceans.
Come on team GB three days to go, make them count!