The outcome from Durban sets us up for another Copenhagen-like summit circus in 2015. Even if a significant agreement emerges then, it wouldn’t initiate action for another three to five years. Meanwhile, the scientific reports keep raising new alarms, and the really important experiments and advances in climate change prevention and adaptation will be taking place on the local, regional and national levels. But the climate conferences will remain one of the best places to find out all about them, and that’s why journalists will continue to find these summits well worth covering.

James Fahn is the executive director of Internews's Earth Journalism Network and the author of A Land on Fire.