The Legacy of the Climate Talks in Copenhagen: Hopenhagen or Brokenhagen?

This article explores the process and substance of the Copenhagen climate talks in December, 2009, and what they may mean for the future of the climate change regime. The negotiations are considered in their historical context. The substance is assessed against the mandate for the negotiations set in Bali, Indonesia in 2007. The negotiating dynamics are explored by assessing the role of each of the key players. The path forward from Copenhagen under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) is considered in light of the substantive outcome and the effect of the Copenhagen talks on the negotiating dynamics. The article concludes by briefly exploring some alternatives to the current approach to climate change under the UNFCCC.

In December, 2009, the most anticipated climate change negotiations in a decade took place in Copenhagen, Denmark. For two weeks, climate change took center stage with high expectations for a comprehensive global agreement on how to tackle climate change, generally recognized as one of the most complex challenges facing the human race. Well over half of the 193 parties attending the negotiations were represented by their head of state or government, making Copenhagen the largest gathering of heads of state outside New York. However, instead of making headlines with a comprehensive climate deal, Copenhagen made headlines with deep divisions over the substance, with open battles over the negotiation process, the gradual exclusion of civil society from the process, and with demonstrations throughout Copenhagen involving up to 100,000 individuals representing a broad range of civil society. This article explores what took place in Copenhagen and what it may mean for the future of the climate change regime. It does so in five steps. First, the article briefly considers the context within which the Copenhagen negotiations took place. The substance and negotiating dynamics are then assessed. The path forward from Copenhagen under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) is considered next. The article concludes with an introduction of some alternatives to the current approach to climate change under the UNFCCC.

Copyright: © Lexxion Verlagsgesellschaft mbH
Quelle: Issue 1/2010 (April 2010)
Seiten: 15
Preis inkl. MwSt.: € 41,65
Autor: Dr. Meinhard Doelle

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