With 119 heads of government and state gathered at the Bella Centre or the final day of the UN Climate Change Summit, a three-page political accord is emerging as a possible best-bet outcome of the talks. The unlikely possibility that such a text would include reference to agriculture or food security remains to be seen.
Obama sets out the pieces of a Copenhagen accord
Addressing an informal high-level event convened this morning by Prime Minister Rasmussen of Denmark, Barack Obama made clear what the basic tenets of a Copenhagen agreement should be:
Mitigation. All major economies should commit to ambitious GHG reduction targets towards stabilising atmospheric temperature increases at or below 2C. The U.S., for example, has set its target at a 17% reduction on 2005 levels by 2020 and 83% by 2050. The EU has committed to an unconditional reduction of 20% on 1990 levls by 2020, to rise to 30% if other countries, including so-called "emerging economies" commit to comparable cuts.
Monitoring. A mechanism should be established to ensure GHG reductions commitments can be monitored, holding countries accountable to their commitments and protecting the credibility of the accord. This requirement was announced yesterday by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton with special reference to the growing emissions of China and India. The two countries accepted signalled their willingness to cooperate on in making their emissions transparent, though it is reported that the emerging accord with refer to "auto-verification".
Adaptation. Financing for vulnerable and developing should be mobilised. Such funding has been tabled in the form of a $10 billion per year Fast Track Fund tabled by the EU for 2009-2012, $15 billion pledged by Japan for the same period, and a $100 billion per year fund by 2020 announced yesterday by Clinton.
It is hoped that the final accord, if agreement on a text incorporating these elements is indeed achieved in the few remaining hours, would lay the building blocks for a legally binding post-Kyoto climate regime at COP16 in Mexico City next year.