With the 1997 Kyoto Protocol provisions set to expire in 2012, U.N. climate change officials are scrambling to hold nations to a renewal of the treaty, while developed countries continue to point to exemptions for developing countries as evidence of its worthlessness. This conflict between developed nations and developing nations tanked last year’s U.N. Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen and just might have the same effect at this year’s conference in Cancun in December.

Americans for Prosperity will be working to ensure that it does. AFP is a national grassroots organization that believes global warming alarmism of the kind featured at the U.N. Climate Change Conference is a key reason why lawmakers refuse to embrace market-based solutions to energy challenges.

At the last U.N. Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen, AFP documented who the supporters of these conferences are and exposed the hypocrisy of its delegates. AFP is going to be at it again with its Hot Air Tour covering the 2010 U.N. Climate Change Conference and a Live From Cancun simulcast.

“We’re winning the fight against cap and trade,” said AFP President Tim Phillips this week at The Bloggers Briefing. “Now is the time to really drive the stake in them and to really hit them. Now is not the time to let up on this issue.”

Certainly, the other side has not yet let up. At “Hopenhagen,” the expectation was that President Obama would bring the United States into the Kyoto Protocol and other developed nations would sign onto an extension of the treaty. That didn’t happen, of course: Developed nations’ governments — led by the United States — argued that, without restrictions placed on countries like China and India, the treaty would be meaningless.

So, the U.N. followed up with yet another conference. In Tianjin, China, in October. Christiana Figueres, executive secretary of the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change, said she saw the:

… determination of the government of China to reduce their CO2 emissions per unit of GDP by up to 45 per cent by 2020, [and the] determination of the people of China to turn China into the world’s leader in renewable energy technology and to find a visionary balance among economic development, poverty eradication and climate protection.

Ah yes, the Chinese will be leading the world in clean energy — and, next, the Iranians will be leading the world to Middle East peace. The Tianjin U.N. Climate Change Conference, the first of its kind ever held in China, was a clear effort to demonstrate to the developed world the seriousness and “determination” of China to clean up its act — but it was no more convincing than Copenhagen. Cancun promises to be the same charade.