Expectations of the Copenhagen international climate change conference

This article on the National Resources Defense Council's website gives us the 411 on the international negotiation: What's going to happen at the summit and what's expected of the participating countries as per the political agreement they'll be signing regarding climate action and emissions reduction.

According to the article, there are "6 key elements to the international agreement":

1. Strong leadership from developed countries with firm and aggressive emissions reductions targets in the near-term (e.g., 2020 and 2030) and strong signals that they will significantly reduce emissions in the medium-term (e.g., 2050).

2. Willingness of developing countries to undertake significant emissions reductions on their own that tangibly reduce the growth of their emissions in the near-term (e.g., to 2020) and lay the foundation for even deeper cuts in the medium-term.

3. Turning the corner on efforts to combat global deforestation.

4. Properly designed and performance-based incentives from developed countries to encourage even greater developing country emissions reductions.

5. Support for adaptation to the impacts of climate change in the least vulnerable countries.

6. Strong provisions to ensure that countries "open up their books and defend them". We need to know that countries are actually achieving what they say they are doing to reduce their emissions and in providing support for countries to go further in reducing their emissions and adapting to global warming.

It also goes on to say that, by signing the treaty, the attending countries are expected to agree to the following: deeper emissions reductions for developed countries (as well as outlining specific actions they'll take toward reducing emissions); compiling monetary resources to help developing countries with clean energy, etc.; and outlining a new, legally binding international agreement for next year.

Read the rest of the article here.

The long-awaited United Nations international climate change summit in Copenhagen is set to begin next week (Dec. 7) and will last until the end of the following week (Dec. 18). As we now know, over 70 countries will be represented and our own President will be in attendance (at least for the first part of the meet).

But what exactly will go on during this two-week meet?


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