The ‘Copenhagen Accord’

The proposed “Copenhagen Accord” announced by Obama at the international climate talks is short, barely three pages. It contains more aims than commitments, few clear targets for the future, and it is not legally binding. What its negotiators were able to agree on doesn’t go much beyond a statement about the dangers posed by climate change and the need for global action.

The text would require a unanimous vote of all 193 nations in the Conference of Parties to be approved. The text acknowledges a requirement to take action to keep average global temperatures from rising more than 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial times. The text acknowledges that deep cuts in global warming emissions are necessary, but it provides no targets. All references to a 2050 goal were eliminated. In the proposed text, the Annex I parties would commit to implement their individual emissions reduction goals for 2020. There are no emissions reduction targets for developing nations. The text includes a combined $30 billion in fast-start money from developed nations across the 2010-2012 period. That funding would be prioritized for the most vulnerable developing countries, such as the least-developed countries, small island states and African countries. Developed nations would fall under a strict monitoring regime. Among non-Annex I countries, only those seeking international support “will be subject to international measurement, reporting and verification in accordance with guidelines adopted by the Conference of Parties.” Other actions would fall under domestic measurement reporting and verification instead. The proposed text, still legally non-binding, offered no timetable for writing a legally binding accord.

Copenhagen Accord:

The Heads of State, Heads of Government, Ministers, and other heads of delegation present at the United Nations Climate Change Conference 2009 in Copenhagen,

In pursuit of the ultimate objective of the Convention as stated in its Article 2,

Being guided by the principles and provisions of the Convention,

Noting the results of work done by the two Ad hoc Working Groups,

Endorsing decision x/CP.l5 that extends the mandate of the Ad hoc Working Group on Long-term cooperative action and decision x/CMP.5 that requests the Ad hoc Working Group on Further Commitments of Annex I Parties under the Kyoto Protocol to continue its work,

Have agreed on this Copenhagen Accord which is operational immediately.

1. We underline that climate change is one of the greatest challenges of our time. We emphasise our strong political will to urgently combat climate change in accordance with the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities. To achieve the ultimate objective of the Convention to stabilize greenhouse gas concentration in the atmosphere at a level that would prevent dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system, we shall, recognizing the scientific view that the increase in global temperature below 2 degrees, on the basis of equity and in the context of sustainable development, enhance our long-term cooperative action to combat climate change. We recognize the critical impacts of climate change and the potential impacts of response measures on countries particularly vulnerable to its adverse effects and stress the need to establish a comprehensive adaptation programme including international support.

2. We agree that deep cuts in global emissions are required according to science, and as documented by the IPCC Fourth Assessment Report with a view to reduce global emissions by 50 per cent in 2050 below 1990 levels, taking into account the right to equitable access to atmospheric space. We should cooperate in achieving the peaking of global and national emissions as soon as possible, recognizing that the time frame for peaking will be longer in developing countries and bearing in mind that social and economic development and poverty eradication are the first and overriding priorities of developing countries and that a low-emission development strategy is indispensable to sustainable development.

3. Adaptation to the adverse effects of climate change and the potential impacts of response measures is a challenge faced by all countries. Enhanced action and international cooperation on adaptation is urgently required to ensure the implementation of the Convention by enabling and supporting the implementation of adaptation actions aimed at reducing vulnerability and building resilience in developing countries, especially in those that are particularly vulnerable, especially least developed countries, small island developing States and further taking into account the need of countries in Africa affected by drought, desertification and floods. We agree that developed countries shall provide adequate, predictable and sustainable financial resources, technology and capacity-building to support the implementation of adaptation action in developing countries.

4. Annex I Parties to the Convention commit to reducing their emissions individually or jointly by at least 80 per cent by 2050. They also commit to implement individually or jointly the quantified economy-wide emissions targets for 2020 as listed in appendix l, yielding in aggregate reductions of greenhouse gas emissions of X per cent in 2020 compared to 1990 and Y per cent in 2020 compared to 2005. Annex I Parties that are Party to the Kyoto Protocol will thereby further strengthen the emissions reductions initiated by the Kyoto Protocol. Delivery of reductions and financing by developed countries will be measured, reported and verified in accordance with existing and any further guidelines adopted by the Conference of Parties, and will ensure that accounting of such targets and finance is rigorous, robust and transparent.

5. Non-Annex I Parties to the Convention will implement mitigation actions, including those listed in appendix II, consistent with Article 4.1 and Article 4.7 and in the context of sustainable development. Mitigation actions subsequently taken and envisaged by Non Annex I Parties shall be communicated through national communications consistent with Article l2.1(b) every two years on the basis of guidelines to be adopted by the Conference of the Parties. Those mitigation actions in national communications or otherwise communicated to the Secretariat will be added to the list in appendix II. Mitigation actions taken by Non Parties will be subject to their domestic measurement, reporting and verification the result of which will be reported through their national communications every two years. Non Annex I Parties will provide biennial national inventory reports in accordance with revised guidelines adopted by the Conference of the Parties. [Consideration to be inserted US and China. Nationally appropriate mitigation actions seeking international support will be recorded in a registry along with relevant technology, finance and capacity building support. Those actions supported will be added to the list in appendix II. These supported nationally appropriate mitigation actions will be subject to international measurement, reporting and verification in accordance with guidelines adopted by the Conference of the Parties.

6. We recognize the crucial role of reducing emission from deforestation and forest degradation and the need to enhance removals of greenhouse gas emission by forests and agree on the need to provide positive incentives to such actions through the immediate establishment of a mechanism including REDD-plus, to enable the mobilization of financial resources from developed countries.

7. We decide to pursue various approaches, including opportunities to use markets, to enhance the cost-effectiveness of; and to promote mitigation actions. Developing countries, especially those with low emitting economies should be provided incentives to continue to develop on a low emission pathway.

8. Scaled up, new and additional, predictable and adequate funding as well as improved access shall be provided to developing countries, in accordance with the relevant provisions of the Convention, to enable and support enhanced action on mitigation, including substantial finance to prevent deforestation (REDD-plus), adaptation, technology development and transfer and capacity-building, for enhanced implementation of the Convention. The collective commitment by developed countries is to provide new and additional resources amounting to 30 billion dollars for the period 2010 – 2012 as listed in appendix III with balanced allocation between adaptation and mitigation, including forestry. Funding for adaptation will be prioritized for the most vulnerable developing countries, such as the least developed countries, small island developing states and countries in Africa affected by drought, desertification and floods. In the context of meaningful mitigation actions and transparency on implementation, developed countries support a goal of mobilizing jointly 100 billion dollars a year by 2020 to address the needs of developing countries. This funding will come from a wide variety of sources, public and private, bilateral and multilateral, including alternative sources of finance. New multilateral funding for adaptation will be delivered through effective and efficient fund arrangements, with a governance structure providing for equal representation of developed and developing countries.

9. To this end, a High Level Panel will be established under the guidance of and accountable to the Conference of the Parties to assess the contribution of the potential sources of revenue, including alternative sources of finance, towards meeting this goal.

10. We decide that the Copenhagen Climate Fund shall be established as an operating entity of the financial mechanism of the Convention to support projects, programmes, policies and other activities in developing countries related to mitigation including REDD-plus, adaptation, capacity- building, technology development and transfer as set forth in decision -/CP.l 5.

11. In order to enhance action on development and transfer of technology we decide to establish a Technology Mechanism as set forth in decision -/CP.l5 to accelerate technology development and transfer in support of action on adaptation and mitigation that will be guided by a country-driven approach and be based on national circumstances and priorities.

12. We call for a review of this Accord and its implementation to be completed by 2016, including in light of the Convention’s ultimate objective. This review would include consideration of strengthening the long-tenn goal to limit the increase in global average temperature to 1.5 degrees.

Click On Links:
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  1. December 19th, 2009
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