Copenhagen Climate Change Conference 2009

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The Copenhagen Climate Change Conference 2009 is hosted in Denmark in the city of Copenhagen from the 7th to the 18th of December, 2009.

This is the 15th United Nations Climate Change Conference, and is also referred to as COP15.

The two-week summit involves politicians and officials from 192 countries. More than 15,000 people are attending — not counting the protesters and activists expected to make their presence felt outside the Bella convention centre.



The goal of the conference is to come up with a global agreement to cut greenhouse gas emissions in line with what scientists say is necessary to avoid the worst climate change projections: melting ice sheets, rising sea levels, expanding desertification, widespread drought, famine and species extinction.[1]

Draft agreement leaked

The UN climate talks in Copenhagen descended into acrimony after the leaking of a draft "Copenhagen Agreement" that would require developing countries to take on targets as the world cut emissions in half by 2050.

Drafted by the Danish Government after talks with the so-called "circle of commitment", including Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, the document said global emissions should peak by the end of the next decade but did not include any emissions targets for 2020 or specific proposals for the creation of a green fund to help the most vulnerable. Control of climate change finance would be passed to the World Bank.[2][3]

Concerns raised by some developing nations about the draft agreement include:

  • Developing countries could be forced to agree to specific emission cuts and measures that were not part of the original UN agreement
  • Poor countries would be further divided by creating a new category of developing countries called "the most vulnerable"
  • The UN's role in handling climate finance would be weakened.
  • Poor countries would not be allowed to emit more than 1.44 tonnes of carbon per person by 2050, while rich countries would be allowed to emit 2.67 tonnes.

fileicon-small-pdf.png Copenhagen draft agreement info_circle.png

Tuvalu takes the lead

Tuvalu has lodged an initiative from the 43 member Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS) calling for a legally binding deal in Copenhagen and halting the "business as usual" negotiations.

Small island states and poor African nations vulnerable to climate impacts laid out demands for a legally-binding deal tougher than the Kyoto Protocol. This was opposed by richer developing states such as China and India, which fear tougher action would curb their growth. Tuvalu demanded - and got - a suspension of negotiations until the issue could be resolved.

The split within the developing country bloc is highly unusual, as it tends to speak with a united voice. After talks resumed in the afternoon, the Tuvalu delegation walked out when it appeared that the issue might be sidelined.[4][5][6]

Developing nations walkout

Developing nations staged a two-hour walkout, accusing the developed world, led by the European Union, Australia and Japan, of pushing to "kill the Kyoto Protocol".

The walkout was organised by the G77 group, which represents 130 small, mostly African nations.

G77 chief Lumumba Di-Aping has accused the Danish president of the Copenhagen process, Connie Hedegaard, of siding with the United States and the rest of the developed world in trying to kill off Kyoto.[7]

Opening ceremony video

See also

External links


  1. What is going on in Copenhagen?, Adam Morton, The Age, 7 December 2009
  2. Copenhagen climate summit in disarray after document leak, The Age, 9 December 2009
  3. Copenhagen climate summit in disarray after 'Danish text' leak,, 8 December 2009
  4. Tuvalu call for Copenhagen Protocol splits developing nation bloc, The Australian
  5. Copenhagen talks break down as developing nations split over 'Tuvalu' protocol,
  6. Developing countries split over climate measures,
  7. Australia 'trying to kill Kyoto', Emma Alberici, ABC, 15 December 2009.

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