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The GOOD Guide to COP15: The Treaty

The Copenhagen Climate Treaty is a proposal for what an ideal vision of a COP15 agreement might look like. The treaty was drafted by...

The Copenhagen Climate Treaty is a proposal for what an ideal vision of a COP15 agreement might look like. The treaty was drafted by Greenpeace, World Wildlife Fund, IndyACT (the league of independent activists), Germanwatch, the David Suzuki Foundation, the National Ecological Centre of Ukraine, and experts from around the world. The prospective document was distributed to negotiators from the 192 attending nations with the hope that it would influence what happens at the conference. Here is a summary of the key points:The Copenhagen Climate TreatyThe window of opportunity for limiting climate change is closing, and unprecedented international cooperation and commitment is required. This treaty puts protection of the climate-and therefore the planet and its people-at its heart. We should expect and demand no less of our governments.Carbon budget:We need to keep the global temperature rise to no more than 2 degrees Celsius (and as much less than that as possible), which means staying within a maximum "carbon budget." Global emissions must peak between 2013 and 2017 and then decline to 1990 levels by 2020.Industrialized countries:The largest share of responsibility to stay within the global carbon budget rests with industrialized countries.They should take on binding commitments to reduce their own emissions and to support action in developing countries with finance, technology, and capacity building.As a group, they should commit to emissions reductions of at least 40 percent below 1990 levels by 2020 and at least 95 percent by 2050. They should also commit to gathering the minimum $160 billion per year needed in terms of public funding.So-called zero carbon action plans should be prepared by industrialized countries, outlining the actions needed to achieve emissions-reductions targets and show how support obligations will be met. These plans would be subject to international review and a strict compliance regime.Newly industrialized countries like Singapore, South Korea, and Saudi Arabia should also take on these binding commitments.Developing countriesWhile developing countries would not be required to take on legally binding targets for the moment, they should start to reduce emissions. As a group they should aim to limit their emissions to 84 percent above 1990 levels by 2020, and reduce emissions by 51 percent by 2050. The crucial transition to a sustainable development pathway that this will require should be supported by the industrialized world.Advanced developing countries such as China or Brazil should prepare low-carbon action plans, detailing how they will move to a low-carbon sustainable path, including adaptation strategies as well as a strategy to reduce deforestation where appropriate and outlining the support needed from the industrialized world. Adaptation funding needs to be massively scaled up, to at least $63 billion.

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