UN Climate Conference Winds Up in Copenhagen

18/12/2009

After almost two weeks of hard work and difficult negotiations, an agreement has been reached in Copenhagen on funding for the world's poorer countries with a view to implementing major reductions in CO2 emissions, although the final document contains no reference to the magnitude of the cuts for the moment. This, because the countries that signed the agreement are committed to putting a figure to their pledges on greenhouse gas cuts by 1 February 2010, pending new talks scheduled to be held in Bonn next summer.

At the end of a day of intense – and at times feverish – negotiating, US President Barack Obama has announced an agreement with China, India and South Africa.  He called the accord "an unprecedented and extremely significant step forward" yet one which "is not sufficient" to resolve the problem of climate change: "there is still a long way to go", mObama admitted.

In any event, the accord not only contains a pledge with regard to funding (worth some $100 billion by 2020) for the world's developing countries, it also obliges each individual signatory country to set the level of its planned carbon dioxide emission cuts and commits those countries to implementing the cuts by 2020. Each country is committed to providing information regarding the level of implementation of the cuts through communication at the national level, with the option of activating international consultations.