COPENHAGEN. Ice cold temperatures in Northern Europe have emerged today a major roadblock in the stalled climate change negotiations. At this afternoon’s press conference, world leaders surprised the assembled presspack by admitting they were struggling to stay focused on the matter in hand. “It’s been tough,” admitted Hilary Clinton, US Secretary of State. “People are talking about a possible rise of 1.5 to 5 degrees celsius over the next century, but it’s hard to think about that right now.We’re deadlocked on more important questions, like if we remembered to buy de-icer and if we can afford to have that central heating on for a little bit longer”.

This afternoon a spat broke out amongst attendees after a rumour circulated that heavy duty earmuffs had prevented the Chinese delegation from hearing anything that was said in the previous week. While the rumour was swiftly dismissed by the Chinese, who insist their ear warmers are of regulation width and fluffiness, the rumour was widely reported; perhaps an indication of the frosty temperature of the negotiations. “The negotiations are frosty, I’ll admit that,” said climate scientist and IPCC member John Hoffmeister. “But we’ve handed out some lovely scarves and we’ve turned the heating right up - we’re confident of a thaw soon”.

British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, who has staked a lot of political capital on the negotiations, was in typically bullish mood. “These are serious people having serious discussions”, he said. “They all know how to close their eyes and go to a happy place, where it’s 30 degrees and the sun is shining. The prudent course of action here is for everyone to get their thermal undies on and damn well get on with it .”