Copenhagen 2009 – No Deal?
In this article I will present a historical synopsis of the evolution of international institutions and debates which have lead to the current state of global negotiations on climate change. I will then discuss the controversial nature of some of the major negotiating issues. The article will also examine the likelihood of a successful conclusion to the international climate change negotiations scheduled in Copenhagen at the end of 2009.
On June 5th 1972 representatives from 113 countries gathered in Stockholm to take part in the 1st United Nations Conference on the Human Environement. The focus of the conference was international cooperation regarding the Earth’s environment. (1)
The next UN Conference on Environment and Development took place in Rio de Janeiro in 1992, 20 years after Stockholm. The Rio Convention, also known as the ‘Earth Summit’ was attended by government officials from 178 countries and numerous non government organizations and media. the conference focused on the relationship between the evironment and development. One of the most important products of the Rio Convention was the creation of an international enviromental treaty . The treaty, known as the ‘United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change’ (UNFCCC or FCCC) was signed by over 150 countries and entered into force in March 1994. (2)
United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change:
The Convention provided a framework to tackle a number of issues and it’s main objective, as described in Article 2, was to achieve ‘stabilization of greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere at a level that would prevent dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system’ (3). It also set out some ruling principles, one of which was the ‘common but differentiated responsibilty’ (CBDR). Principle 7, CBDR, established the understanding that the historical responsibility of environmental degragation primarily...