We Have A Deal: The Copenhagen Climate Change Conference Result

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It went from Copenhagen to “Hopenhagen” to in the end “Brokenhagen”.

The UN climate change conference in Copenhagen is still going on after world leaders jetted in over the past few days and reached a “Copenhagen Accord” that was agreed by the US, China, South Africa and India, however as early as this morning it is still unclear which other countries are willing to support and sign it.

The last minute push certainly is looking more like the “mother of all photo-op’s” than a real honest effort to broker a deal. If this really is the single most important conference for the future of the globe, then certainly you would think leaders of the world would have spent more time at the conference, and not take off early worrying about “the weather” back in Washington.

“It is great that a small group of leaders gets together and tries to advance the process. But ultimately the way things work here is it has to be acceptable to every country” said Yvo de Boer, Executive Secretary of the UN Climate Change Secretariat. “If this makes it through the meeting in a few hours, then I see it as a modest success. We could have achieved more” he added.

The so called Copenhagen Accord confirms the continuation of the Kyoto Protocol and the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. It sets a maximum of two degrees Celsius average global temperature rise and states that a review by 2016 should consider if it will be necessary to limit warming to 1.5 degree Celsius.

On financing the accord states developed countries commit collectively to providing 30 billion US dollars in new additional funding for developing countries for the 2010-2012 period. It also says developed countries support a “goal of mobilizing jointly 100 billion dollars a year” by 2020 from a variety of forces.

Criticism for the accord was quick to come in. Greenpeace criticized the accord for not having “targets for carbon cuts and no agreement on a legally binding treaty”. Oxfam International called the deal “a triumph of spin over substance. It recognizes the need to keep warming below two degrees, but does not commit to do so. It kicks back the decisions on emissions cuts and fudges the issue of climate cash”.

Talks continue, but look for more promises to meet, than any substantial agreement.

  • Mark Spowart

    A writer and photographer, Spowart has publication credits in Canada, United States, Europe and Norway with such publications as The Globe & Mail, The National Post, Sun Media, Canwest News, and Canada News Wire.

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