This article is cross-posted from CNN.com.
The next round of international climate meetings begin Monday in Cancun, Mexico, and they will likely determine the future for global action on climate change---including whether the United Nations will remain at the core of an international regime.
It's been nearly a year since the Copenhagen, Denmark, climate summit, and negotiations over implementation of the climate change deal it produced have dragged on with little to show.
They've been slowed by the failure of a climate bill in the U.S. Senate, the global economic recession and increasing gridlock between the United States and China. Around the world, heads of state have been reluctant to provide crucial leadership needed for a breakthrough.
We need a significant turnaround to show that real progress is possible. In football terms, it's the two-minute warning, and we just got the ball on our opponent's 20-yard line.