Copenhagen Climate Change Agreement

A new executive secretary of the UNFCCC, Christiana Figueres, has been appointed and is continuing her efforts to secure a legally binding treaty. Two other meetings have been held since COP15, the last of which was scheduled for October 2010, before the next high-level meeting in December 2010 – COP16. Little progress has been made at these meetings on the success of the Kyoto Protocol and a broader agreement on climate change. Expectations were high for the climate change conference held in Copenhagen in December 2009 (15th Conference of the Parties – COP15). However, the countries participating in the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) have not reached a legally binding agreement. Since the Kyoto Protocol came into force in 2005, attention has focused on what to do after 2012, after the end of the first commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol. Should the Kyoto Protocol be extended by the adoption of a second commitment period with a new round of emission reduction targets for parts of industrialized countries? If so, should a new agreement be adopted within the framework of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) [1] on emissions from countries that are not parties to the Kyoto Protocol[2] or do not have emission targets from Kyoto (developing countries)? Or should a new single agreement be adopted that replaces the Kyoto Protocol and is more widely covered and covers emissions from both developed and developing countries? The Conference of the Parties (COP) in Copenhagen, held from 7 to 19 December 2009, was conceived as a time frame to resolve these post-2012 climate agendas – a view reflected in the unofficial slogan of the conference “Seal the Agreement”. [3] The decision of more than 100 heads of state and government to attend the Copenhagen conference reinforced public expectations for the major breakthrough of the Copenhagen conference; and more than 40,000 registered people, making Copenhagen one of the largest environmental events in history. However, the lack of progress in the negotiations in the months leading up to Copenhagen indicated that hopes for a full-fledged final agreement were unrealistic. In the end, the Copenhagen conference resulted only in a political agreement, the Copenhagen Agreement[4], negotiated by the heads of state and government of the world`s major economies, but which was not formally adopted by the conference, so its prospects for the future were uncertain. Finally, the BASIC group of emerging economies, which began to form just before COP16, has become one of the strongest trading blocs. BASIC countries are firmly in favour of a legally binding follow-up agreement on the Kyoto Protocol by the end of 2011. They want comprehensive emissions reduction commitments, transparent measures and the fulfilment of funding promises from developed countries before commitments are imposed on developing countries.

As such, the COP 15 Side Event on International Cooperation on Technology Transfer: Time for Action was co-organized on 16 December by UNIDO and the LAA`s Department of Sustainable Development, and was co-chaired by Sha Zukang, DesA Under-Secretary General.