75 Countries Committing to Take Action on Global Warming & 110 Support the Copenhagen Accord

The final outcome coming from Copenhagen this past December left many confused about how many countries would ultimately commit to take actions to reduce their global warming pollution as the Copenhagen Accord agreed (as I discussed here).  And there was confusion about how many countries wanted to support the international efforts outlined in the Accord – after all 28 countries drafted the final agreement, but the Accord was only “taken note” of by the 193 countries in Copenhagen.  Well 3 months after the Accord was agreed we have some answers on both fronts.

75 countries accounting for over 80% of the world’s emissions have formally communicated actions that they are planning to take to reduce their global warming pollution (full list available here and here; as I commented on here).  As the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change Secretariat just reported:

“41 industrialised countries have formally communicated their economy-wide targets to the UNFCCC. 35 developing countries have communicated information on the nationally appropriate mitigation actions they are planning to take, provided they receive the appropriate support in terms of finance and technology.”

Many of these countries have announced specific actions since Copenhagen to implement measures to meet these commitments (as we’ve discussed here and here; and as you can track here).  Implementation of these actions is one of the critical components of international efforts to address global warming – after all the core building block of an international agreement is the actions that countries take at home to reduce their global warming pollution.

From A (Albania) to Z (Zambia) and many in between -- 111 countries have indicated their support for the Copenhagen Accord.  These countries (see the full list at the end of this post) have now formally recorded their support of the Accord, which basically means “we agree to international action on global warming and on the basis of the outlines agreed in the Accord”.  So these countries are basically saying (amongst other items in the 12 points of the Accord):

  1. We’ll collectively take action to reduce global warming pollution aiming to hold temperatures to less than 2ºC (3.6 ºF);
  2. Both developed and developing countries (except the Least Developed Countries) will take actions to reduce their global warming pollution (as 75 countries have now documented);
  3. We agree to report our emissions and progress towards our emissions reduction commitments every 2 years according to internationally agreed guidelines and with provisions for international consultations and analysis under clearly defined guidelines” on these reports (as I discussed here);
  4. Support will be provided for efforts to address deforestation which accounts for over 15% of the world’s emissions (countries have now pledged $4 billion over 3 years to support this effort);
  5. We’ll mobilize $30 billion over the next 3 years for deforestation reductions, clean energy deployment, and adaptation in developing countries and we’ll jointly work to scale this up to $100 billion per year by 2020 (as I discussed here).

So those are the outlines of agreements reached in the Copenhagen Accord, where do we head next internationally? 

The climate negotiations will commence next week (April 9-11) for an discussion of where things head on the path to the climate meeting in Mexico this December.  I think it is critical that the world focus on implementing the key steps agreed in the Copenhagen Accord and adding more detail to a limited set of the issues.  This means focusing Mexico less on tying up all the loose ends, but rather making progress on implementing the key building blocks for international efforts – actions, support, and transparency.  And for a limited number of things where there is greater agreement – such as reducing deforestation emissions – get consensus on the specific elements of how the international community will jointly address that issue.  I’ll post some more detailed thoughts in advance of that meeting next week so stay tuned.

So we don’t know exactly how things will proceed this year but we do know that solving global warming requires that key countries take actions to reduce their emissions, we find ways to help developing countries reduce their emissions and deal with the impacts of global warming, and we establish provisions to effectively assess whether or not countries are taking the steps that they agreed to.  Hopefully this year we’ll have clear progress in implementing each of these cornerstones of the international effort.

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Here is the text of the Copenhagen Accords chapeau, which lists the countries that have formally agreed to be listed as supporting the Accord:

The Heads of State, Heads of Government, Ministers, and other heads of the following delegations present at the United Nations Climate Change Conference 2009 in Copenhagen:

Albania, Algeria, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Bahamas, Bangladesh, Belarus, Belgium, Benin, Bhutan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Botswana, Brazil, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Cambodia, Canada, Central African Republic, Chile, China, Colombia, Congo, Costa Rica, Côte d’Ivoire, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Denmark, Djibouti, Eritrea, Estonia, Ethiopia, European Union, Fiji, Finland, France, Gabon, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Guatemala, Guinea, Guyana, Hungary, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kiribati, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Latvia, Lesotho, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Madagascar, Malawi, Maldives, Mali, Malta, Marshall Islands, Mauritania, Mexico, Monaco, Mongolia, Montenegro, Morocco, Namibia, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Palau, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Peru, Poland, Portugal, Republic of Korea, Republic of Moldova, Romania, Russian Federation, Rwanda, Samoa, San Marino, Senegal, Serbia, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Swaziland, Sweden, Switzerland, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Tonga, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, United Republic of Tanzania, United States of America, Uruguay and Zambia.

About the Authors

Jake Schmidt

Director, International program

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