COPENHAGEN CLIMATE SUMMIT
After the dramatic twists and turns in the 12-day conference, the Copenhagen Accord, the first global agreement of the 21st century to comprehensively influence the flow and share of natural resources, was agreed upon by 26 most influential countries (including India) in the wee hours of December 19, 2009, in the snow-drenched capital of Denmark. According to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon—the ‘Copenhagen Accord’ may not be everything everyone had hoped for, but his decision…. is an important beginning. This legally non-binding Accord demands that an increase in global temperatures be kept below 2 degrees on the basis of equity. It requires global emissions as well as all national emissions to peak at a certain time but is mindful of concerns for economic development. It requires mitigation actions from developing countries for the first time to be listed in an international agreement. The agreement, a compromise, as every head of state characterized it, came about after hardnosed negotiations between Obama in a meeting with Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, his Chinese counterpart Wen Jiabao, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva and Jacob Zuma, Presidents of Brazil and South Africa, respectively.
Climate accord at a glance
- The deal does not commit any nation to emission cuts beyond a general acknowledgement that global temperatures should be held along the lines agreed to by leading nations in July.
- There are no overall emissions targets for rich countries.
- The already agreed-upon emission cuts fall far short of action needed to avoid potentially dangerous effects of climate change. These cuts are to be made by 2020:
- S.- a 17 per cent reduction from 2005 levels.
- China, a cut of 40 to 45 per cent below “business as usual,” that is, judged against 2005 figures for energy used versus economic output.
- India, 20 to 25 per cent cut from 2005 levels.
- European Union, 20 per cent cut from 1990.
- Japan- 25 per cent cut from 1990.
- Countries are to list actions taken to cut global warming pollution by specific amounts.
- Developed countries should report their mitigation actions by Feb 1, 2010, while large developing countries like India and China had to report their “mitigation ambitions” by the same deadline.
- Developed nations already covered by the 1997 Kyoto Protocol (the U.S. is not included) will have their emissions cuts monitored and will face possible sanctions if they fail to meet them.
- Wealthy nations will raise $100 billion a year by 2020 to help poorer nations cope with the effects of climate change, such as droughts and floods.
- Short-term funding of roughly $30 billion over three years beginning in 2010 to help developing countries adapt to climate change and shift to clean energy.