Sitting in Hanoi at the 6th International conference on Community-based Adaptation, I am struck by how advanced the responses to climate change in Vietnam seem to be. The government has many plans and strategies, NGOs are doing solid work, and communities – well, communities are doing things for themselves. Then we are also hearing about exciting initiatives all over the world – participatory video to lobby the government on required policies in the Solomon Islands, child-centred adaptation in Somaliland, social mobilisation in La Paz, and actions by indigenous peoples all over the world. It’s enough to make a person feel positively hopeful. And it’s a very different feeling to the one I had at COP17 in Durban in December last year. How do we revitalise the international negotiations process on climate change, so that it brings us real reasons for hope, and not fears of harm?