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Copenhagen Essay

1311 words - 6 pages


Last December, the United Nation Climate Change Conference was held in
Copenhagen. This summit was the 15th Conference of the Parties (COP 15), which
rallied eminent scientists and governmental representatives of 192 countries in
order to set new international commitments to fight global warming.
Since the Kyoto Protocol will end in 2012, this conference was crucial to keep the
process in line and agree on a framework for climate change mitigation beyond
2012. Issues such as new targets for cutting emissions, assistance to poor countries,
reduction of carbon trading or pollution offsets were to be discussed, and a
legally binding ...view middle of the document...

The Copenhagen accord, a 12-paragraph document was drafted by the United States, China ,Brazil and South Africa .It was taking note of but not adopted in the negociations by all the participating countries and it was not passed unanimously.In fact, it is more as an intention to take action to combat global warming rather than a binding pledge among parties . This would mean that negociations would continue into 2010, increasing the damage done by the emissions.The document recognizes that climate change is one of the greatest challenges of the present day, and actions should be taken to keep any temperatures increases below 2 C.The document recognized that climate change is one of the greatest challenges of the present day,it only asked the countries to submit emissions targets by the end of January 2010 and traces the way further discussions to occur at the 2010 UN Climate Change Conference in Mexico. However,by February 2010 only 67 countries had registered their targets.

With most of the world in recession and the United States lacking climate legislation, expectations shifted to reaching a political agreement in Copenhagen that could later strengthened into a legal treaty.The summit was resplendent with rich-poor disputes in which the less wealthy states grudgingly blamed the larger economies, namely the United States and China, for emitting the majority of the world’s greenhouse gases and for failing to set concrete targets for curbing carbon emissions. The variant national interests and the rich-poor countries division made the negociation close to the chaos. Nonetheless, late on Friday, December 18th, an agreement was struck under the leadership of President Obama in a final push to satisfy both developed and developing countries. The US President called on the world’s community to recognize the severity of the issue at hand: “For while the reality of climate change is not in doubt, our ability to take collective action hangs in the balance. I believe that we can act boldly, and decisively, in the face of this common threat.”
The agreement has provoked a lukewarm response from the international community. Only the United States and China that have been at the heart of the controversy, lauded the outcome of the climate conference.
“With the effort of all parties, the summit yielded significant and positive results.” said the Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi and President Obama said that the accord was “the foundation for international action in the years to come.”
The non-result of Copenhagen calls into question the ability of leaders to deliver what is needed. This is where the question of political courage arises. Where are the world’s leaders ready to risk their offices to convince electorates that
fighting global warming justifies further suffering despite the financial crisis? The
list is depressingly short. Even though it appears that European Union is willing to
assess efficiently the environmental future, the...

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