Major papers are reporting that a final deal has been reached in Copenhagen: the “Copenhagen Accord”
The Post has a link to a copy of the deal, but I’m not sure if this is the final final, or just close-to-final. My reaction on a quick read-through is that this is a fig leaf that papers over most of the major conflicts. Most of what is in this deal was already agreed to before Copenhagen. There is a commitment to an aggregate reduction in global GHG emissions of 50% below 1990 levels by 2050, but still no firm numbers for 2020. There is some important new language on monitoring and verification in Par. 5, and the agreement sets a new benchmark for financing: $100 billion + will now become the standard debated in future negotiations.
News outlets are reporting that an earlier draft from this morning set a deadline to complete a binding treaty by the next Conference of the Parties in Mexico City (scheduled for Dec. 2010). This Accord has no firm deadline to conclude a treaty, but merely calls for “review of this Accord and its implementation” by 2016. That’s a long way away. If there is pressure to conclude a treaty, it won’t come from this document, but rather from domestic politics.
All in all, a very depressing document for a conference that carried such high expectations.
Director, Merhige Center for Environmental Studies University of Richmond School of Law Richmond VA, 23173