Copenhagen Ends in Disappointment
Source: World Nuclear News (12/21/09)
"Nations will have to individually endorse the document."
The Accord was then presented to the full array of countries as a 'take it or leave it' document. After chaotic scenes where a small number of developing countries fought to formally reject the document, the COP 15 meeting ended with Conference of the Parties 'taking note' of the Accord. Nations will have to individually endorse the document.
The document is not legally binding and does not set a deadline for a legally binding agreement to be achieved. The need to limit global temperature rise to a maximum of 2 ēC is recognized, but the emissions reductions offered so far by countries will not be sufficient to achieve this goal. During the Copenhagen meeting around 100 of the least developed countries had argued for a 1.5 ēC limit, with some African countries pushing for a 1 ēC.
Developed countries have until 1 February 2010 to inform the UNFCCC of the emissions reduction to which they are willing to commit. By the same date developing countries are to inform the UN what mitigation actions they will undertake to reduce emissions.
The way in which the Copenhagen Accord was drafted has raised questions about how the UNFCCC process will continue. The accord was written by a small group of the larger countries and has only weak links to the outcomes of the earlier twin track negotiations. Both sets of negotiations are now due be taken forward, first to an intermediary meeting in Bonn in June, and then to Mexico City for COP 16 at the end of 2010.