Over 1,000 delegates from more than 100 industrialized countries are meeting in Vienna this week to discuss climate change strategies beyond the Kyoto Protocol, which expires in 2012. The idea is to bring together Kyoto signatories with holdouts from key industrial states to see how much buy-in there is for broader climate change efforts among the major polluters. Nothing concrete is expected to come from this meeting, but it will test the waters before a major climate change summit in Bali, Indonesia this December. “The coming week will give us an indication of whether the political community…is willing to move beyond well-intentioned platitudes towards real negotiations,” says Yvo de Boer, the U.N.’s top climate change official.

That’s UN code for: “In the next few days, we will know weather or not the non-Kyoto signatory states–namely China and the United States—are serious about emissions reduction.”

For those interested in the future of our planet, all eyes should be on Vienna this week.

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