Copenhagen Accord

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The 15th Conference of the Parties (COP15) was held in Copenhagen Denmark from December 7 – 18, 2009.  The primary outcome of the meeting was that the COP agreed that it “takes note” of the  Copenhagen Accord which required Annex I nations to file with the UNFCCC Secretariat a statement of that nation’s quantified economy-wide ghg emission targets for 2020. Nations submitted a range of targets and baseline years for measuring the targets.  The Copenhagen Accord called for each Non-Annex I Party to submit a statement of committment to a nationally appropriate mitigation action.  The information provided by the parties pursuant to the Copenhagen Accord is maintained by the UNFCCC Secretariat.

The non-binding Copenhagen Accord included several notable provisions, including that it “underline[d] that climate change is one of the greatest challenges of our time,”  marked the “strong political will to urgently combat climate change in accordance with the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities,” and recognized that “to stabilize greenhouse gas concentration in the atmosphere at a level that would prevent dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system … the increase in global temperature should be below 2 degrees Celsius…”   To meet this goal, “Annex I Parties commit to implement individually or jointly the quantified economy-wide emissions targets for 2020…” “Non-Annex I Parties to the Convention will implement mitigation actions, including those to be submitted to the secretariat by non-Annex I Parties … consistent with Article 4.1 and Article 4.7 and in the context of sustainable development. Least developed countries and small island developing States may undertake actions voluntarily and on the basis of support.”

The Copenhagen Accord also recognized that “the adverse effects of climate change and the potential impacts of response measures is a challenge faced by all countries.” The parties to the Accord agreed “that developed countries shall provide adequate, predictable and sustainable financial resources, technology and capacity-building to support the implementation of adaptation action in developing countries.”

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