Last week's Autumn Statement was hardly the best segue (or "segway", as modern parlance would seem to have it) into the Paris climate talks, which formally kicked off this week.
Perhaps, we were hoping for David Cameron's "greenest government ever" to show the rest of the world how to do it and lead by example.
Were the UK and EU negotiators gifted any useful cards to play in what will likely be a difficult game of poker with the likes of India and China?
Err, no. Instead, we got something of a smokescreen.
Some assorted nuggets for consumers, notably some repackaging of existing green policies to deliver cost savings and a consequent reduction in average household bills of £30 per year from 2017, mostly from a surprise replacement of the ECO energy efficiency scheme when it comes to an end.
But the energy efficiency industry in the UK is already in the doldrums, with the summer culling of the Green Deal finance scheme an example of how policy seems to be failing.
There was also some good news for the steel industry and other energy intensive businesses, with a permanent exemption from the costs of the Renewables Obligation and Feed in Tariff schemes.
Further consumer savings are on the cards when the Government shortly announces the results of its consultation on future changes to subsidies schemes to keep costs under control.
This, at a time when the solar industry is still in a state of shock from the dramatic post-election reductions in subsidy levels, with job losses mounting.
Also announced by the Chancellor were changes to the eligibility of tax-advantaged venture capital schemes, an important source of equity funding for new energy generation projects.
The detailed rules are complex but in essence the changes will now disqualify reserve energy generating plant from the end of the month and will also adversely impact certain community energy renewable schemes, with all generating activities excluded from next April.
Elsewhere, and true to form, George Osborne provided further encouragement to the nascent shale industry with a new shale gas "wealth fund" to be set up for communities, into which ten per cent of shale gas revenues will be channelled.
And £250 million over the next five years will be invested in a nuclear research and development programme.
So where does this leave us in Paris? A smokescreen for what?
There are perhaps three underlying themes which will recur throughout the Paris talks: coal, technology and money.
Coal - because developing countries, and India in particular, burn a lot of it and we can expect this to continue for some time.
Technology - because this goes to the heart of the climate change dilemma and is surely where the long-term solution will be found.
The world needs to find new ways of powering our lives and decarbonising our environment, whether we're talking about electric vehicles and smart grids, energy storage batteries, nuclear power, the "internet of things", the elusive fusion power (always 30 years away).
Probably all of them and more.
And money - because creating new technology is expensive and developing countries take the not wholly unreasonable view that, if the developed world expects them to rapidly decarbonise and put economic development at risk, then this new technology should come as part of the deal.
So, how disappointing that, under cover of the Autumn Statement, the UK government on the same afternoon quietly released a statement to the London Stock Exchange stating that it had cancelled its £1 billion competition for carbon capture and storage (CCS) technology and would be talking to the bidders to discuss the implications for them.
Not only was the timing awful - six months before the award was due to be made after a four-year process - but this funding was a pledge in the Conservative's election manifesto.
It also came out of nowhere with zero warning. How can we credibly expect to build infrastructure investor confidence with such a display of "political risk"?
OK, the competition has not run smoothly but there is an urgent need to demonstrate how CCS can work on a fossil fuel power station, at commercial scale.
CCS takes the CO2 from the power plant and pipes it to underground caverns where it can be stored for many years.
The technology's potential has been endorsed not only by the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change but also the UK's Committee on Climate Change.
Crucially, this technology could be the saviour for coal where in India and China there is a massive potential market and it has (had) an important place in our longer-term domestic energy policy, which is increasingly losing any semblance of coherence.
So, our negotiators in Paris have been dealt a difficult hand before the discussions have even begun.
Observers would be forgiven for concluding that the UK government is hell-bent on reining back support for renewables and energy efficiency initiatives and has little appetite for investing in coal abatement technology, never mind sharing it.
Andrew Whitehead is senior partner at law firm Shakespeare Martineau and leads the firm's energy and climate change practice