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Status of the Copenhagen Climate Change Negotiations
Jane A. Leggett (au); Richard K. Lattanzio (au)
The U.S. and almost 200 other countries are negotiating under the UNFramework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) to address climate change cooperatively beyond the year 2012. Parties agreed to complete the negotiations by the 15th meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP-15) scheduled for Dec. 7-18, 2009, in Copenhagen. The negotiations toward a “Copenhagen agreement” are intended to be the next steps toward meeting the objective of the UNFCCC, to stabilize greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere at a level that would prevent dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system. Most parties conclude the objective requires avoiding a 2 degree Celsius increase in global mean temperature and reducing global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 80%-95% by 2050. The UNFCCC principle of “common but differentiated responsibilities” among parties permeates debate about obligations of different forms, levels of effort, and verifiability. Key disagreements remain among parties. Contents of this report: (I) Overview; (II) Background; (III) Two Tracks on the Way to Copenhagen: One Agreement or Two?; (IV) Key Topics Under Negotiation: A Shared Long-Term Vision to 2050; Obligations to Mitigate GHG Emissions; Adapting to Impacts of Climate Change; Financial Assistance to Low-income Countries; Technology Development and Transfer; Enhancing Carbon Sequestration in Forests; Measuring, Reporting, and Verification (MRV).
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