Canadian Consulting Engineer

Canadian Consulting Engineer   

Copenhagen summit reaches weak agreement

Environmental Environment Greenhouse Gases (GHG)

After two weeks of talks on climate change in Copenhagen, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon called the agreemen...

After two weeks of talks on climate change in Copenhagen, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon called the agreement in principle that was forged at the last minute on December 19 just “an essential beginning.” The Copenhagen Accord was made between just five countries: U.S., China, India, Brazil and South Africa.  The other countries at the conference agreed to “take note” of the agreement.

Canada stuck to its long-term target of reducing emissions by 20% from 2006 levels by 2020 without change. The U.S. committed to reducing emissions by 17% below 2005 levels.

The UN Secretary-General said results were achieved on four of the benchmarks for success that he had laid out in a meeting running up to the Copenhagen summit.

“All countries have agreed to work towards a common long-term goal to limit the global temperature rise to below 2 degrees Celsius; many governments have made important commitments to reduce or limit emissions; countries have achieved significant progress on preserving forests; and countries have agreed to provide comprehensive support to help the most vulnerable cope with climate change.”

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Ban Ki-moon also noted that $30 billion in pledges had been made for adaptation and mitigation measures for poorer countries.  He said the so-called Copenhagen Green Climate Fund has to be launched as soon as possible so that it can start providing assistance to those in need and to kick-start clean energy projects.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has found that to stave off the worst effects of global warming, industrialized countries must slash emissions by 25-40% from 1990 levels by 2020, and global emissions must be halved by 2050, otherwise “we will face serious consequences,” Ban Ki-moon said. “So while I am satisfied we have a deal here in Copenhagen, I am aware that it is just the beginning. It will take more than this to definitely tackle climate change, but it is a step in the right direction.

 

 

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