Mar 13 2010

China and India Agree to Copenhagen Accord

Published by at 3:35 pm under Copenhagen Accord,UNFCCC

On March 8, 2009 India submitted a letter to the UNFCC Secretariat in which India agreed to be formally listed as a party on the Copenhagen Accord.  On March 9, 2009, China agreed to be listed as a party.  With China and India agreeing to be listed, the Copenhagen Accord now includes all of the world’s leading emitters.  Importantly, the all agree (in the political, non-binding) Accord’s goal of  limiting global temperature rise since industrialization to 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit).  However, that China and India agreed only to be “listed” as parties to the accord, and did not declare full “association” with the accord.

Although the United States proposed replacing some of the existing U.N. texts with passages from the Copenhagen Accord, India and China have both strongly backed the twin-track (UNFCCC and Kyoto Protocol).  According to a March 9, 2009 Guardian article, Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiabao takes the position that ”‘It is neither viable nor acceptable to start a new negotiation process outside the [UNFCCC] and the [Kyoto] protocol,’  Similarly, Rajani Ranjan Rashmi, India’s environment and forests minister, states in his letter, ‘The accord is not a new track of negotiations or a template for outcomes’ … The US now appears isolated as China, India and many other countries, firmly support the idea of continuing with the two existing UN negotiating tracks to try to achieve a consensus. The battle of the texts was fought for much of last year with the US backed by Britain and the rest of Europe. Today, the European Commission’s first formal statement since Copenhagen offered some support for the US: ‘The political guidance in the Copenhagen Accord – which was not formally adopted as a UN decision – needs to be integrated into the UN negotiating texts that contain the basis of the future global climate agreement.’ But some rich country governments now accept privately that they had ‘crossed a red line’ and failed to recognise that developing countries had not been prepared to abandon the Kyoto protocol without a new legal agreement in place to ensure developed countries reduced emissions.”

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