So what is the deal on climate change? – results of COP15

BBC news provided the key points of the less than unanimous deal

Copenhagen deal: Key points

A US-led initiative called the Copenhagen Accord has formed the centre-piece of a deal at UN climate talks in Copenhagen, despite some countries’ opposition.

Below is an explanation of the main points in the agreement.

LEGAL STATUSThe Accord, reached between the US, China, India, Brazil and South Africa, contains no reference to a legally binding agreement, as some developing countries and climate activists wanted.

Neither is there a deadline for transforming it into a binding deal, though UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said it needed to be turned into a legally binding treaty next year.

The accord was merely “recognised” by the 193 nations at the Copenhagen summit, rather than approved, which would have required unanimous support. It is not clear whether it is a formal UN deal.

TEMPERATURE RISEThe text recognises the need to limit global temperatures rising no more than 2C (3.6F) above pre-industrial levels.

The language in the text shows that 2C is not a formal target, just that the group “recognises the scientific view that” the temperature increase should be held below this figure.

However, the accord does not identify a year by which carbon emissions should peak, a position resisted by some richer developing nations.

Countries are asked to spell out by 1 February next year their pledges for curbing carbon emissions by 2020. The deal does not spell out penalties for any country that fails to meet its promise.

FINANCIAL AIDThe deal promises to deliver $30bn (£18.5bn) of aid for developing nations over the next three years. It outlines a goal of providing $100bn a year by 2020 to help poor countries cope with the impacts of climate change.

The accord says the rich countries will jointly mobilise the $100bn, drawing on a variety of sources: “public and private, bilateral and multilateral, including alternative sources of finance.”

A green climate fund will also be established under the deal. It will support projects in developing countries related to mitigation, adaptation, “capacity building” and technology transfer.

EMISSIONS TRANSPARENCYThe pledges of rich countries will come under “rigorous, robust and transparent” scrutiny under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

In the accord, developing countries will submit national reports on their emissions pledges under a method “that will ensure that national sovereignty is respected.”

Pledges on climate mitigation measures seeking international support will be recorded in a registry.

REVIEW OF PROGRESSThe implementation of the Copenhagen Accord will be reviewed by 2015. This will take place about a year-and-a-half after the next scientific assessment of the global climate by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

However, if, in 2015, delegates wanted to adopt a new, lower target on global average temperature, such as 1.5C rather than 2C, it would be too late.

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2 thoughts on “So what is the deal on climate change? – results of COP15

    • Ray Harris says:

      Unfortunately because the discussions are ‘national leader’ led then of course everyone is protecting their own interests -there are very few who can take a real global view of the future and more importantly the future of the next generations.

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