Info Service on Climate Change (Jan10/02)
The controversial Copenhagen Accord that emerged from the climate change conference last December and of which the Conference of Parties (COP) to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) merely “takes note” has become the centre of intense diplomatic activity in New York, Geneva and several capital cities.
30 December 2009 a note verbale was sent by the Permanent Mission
of Denmark to the UN to all missions of UNFCCC Parties in
While some countries led by developed countries continue to promote the Accord as a first step towards a new legally binding agreement, what is often overlooked in mainstream media reports are the important decisions that were actually adopted by consensus at COP 15 in Copenhagen, that affirm the continuation of the 2 tracks of negotiations under the UNFCCC (on long term cooperative action to implement the UNFCCC) and the Kyoto Protocol (on the further commitments of Annex 1 Parties to reduce emissions beyond 2012). The reports of the 2 Ad Hoc Working Groups with the negotiation text of a range of issues are the basis for the resumed work of Parties to the 2 treaties in 2010.
reports have surfaced that developing country diplomats and decision-makers
in numerous capital cities and in key missions in
As can be expected, many developing countries are exercising caution and scrutinising the contents and implications of the Accord that triggered heated responses and debate during the final hours of the Copenhagen COP meeting, and that did not get the consensus needed to adopt it as a COP decision (please see TWN Copenhagen News Updates No. 23 and 25 sent on this list on 23 December 2009. See also the TWN info Service on Climate Change posting of the article “The Real Tragedy of Copenhagen” by Martin Khor of South Centre dated 15 January 2010). Their primary concern is that there should be no weakening of the existing legal architecture for climate actions, comprising the UNFCCC and Kyoto Protocol, and rooted in the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities.
those that are reported to seek a deeper understanding of the Accord
is a news report by The Hindu of a meeting of the four large
developing countries known as the BASIC countries, planned for 24 January
countries meet on January 24
The group of four emerging economies – Brazil, South Africa, India and China – that played a major role in arriving at the Copenhagen Accord – will meet here on January 24 to discuss issues before endorsing the agreement on climate change arrived at in the Danish Capital last month.
The ministerial level meeting is likely to draft a collective response to a communication from the United Nations Secretary-General asking these countries to work quickly and diligently to get all other Parties of the conference to sign the Accord by January 31.
Things have picked up pace following a clarification from the U.N. office that the Accord was a political document and could not be considered a legally binding document though those who agree to it would be bound by the commitments they have announced nationally or at the just concluded climate change meet.
While Denmark apparently wanted all Parties to inform the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) secretariat of their willingness to associate with the Accord, there were some reservations from the Indian side as it was felt that the communication implied Copenhagen Accord was legally binding or that it was the basis of negotiating a new legally binding agreement which was contrary to what was agreed to between the U.S. and BASIC countries.
contacted on whether the treaty was legally binding, Minister of State
(Independent charge) for Environment and Forests, Jairam Ramesh, told
The Hindu that
The Copenhagen Accord is being touted as an essential first step in a process leading to a robust international climate change treaty by the UNFCCC.
Meanwhile, the U.N. Secretary-General was also considering setting up a panel to work on how the start-up financing would be organised so as to ensure the developed countries actually start putting up the $ 30 billion they have promised.