Copenhagen: The Story Isn’t Over Yet

For those who are interested, the text of the accord can be found here.  There’s an important feature that does not seem to have gotten much attention, found in paragraphs 4 and 5.  Paragraph 4 says:

Annex I Parties commit to implement individually or jointly the quantified economy-wide emissions targets for 2020, to be submitted in the format given in Appendix I by Annex I Parties to the secretariat by 31 January 2010 for compilation in an INF document. Annex I Parties that are Party to the Kyoto Protocol will thereby further strengthen the emissions reductions initiated by the Kyoto Protocol.

Paragraph 5 says:

Non-Annex I Parties to the Convention will implement mitigation actions, including those to be submitted to the secretariat by non-Annex I Parties in the format given in Appendix II by 31 January 2010, for compilation in an INF document, consistent with Article 4.1 and Article 4.7 and in the context of sustainable development. . . . These supported nationally appropriate mitigation actions will be subject to international measurement, reporting and verification in accordance with guidelines adopted by the Conference of the Parties.

Thus, both Annex 1 parties (the developed countries) and Annex 2 parties (developing countries) agree to mitigation measures which are going to be specified by the end of next month.  In a sense, Copenhagen has been extended for six weeks to allow negotiation further consideration of these measures. (Presumably any discussions will be informal, as has been pointed to me, so the term “negotiation” may be misleading.)  Importantly, this is the first time that the developing countries have agreed to binding mitigation requirements.

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