Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Copenhagen Accord: Global Emissions Cuts

In compliance with the Copenhagen Accord's January 31 deadline, the US and Canada have pledged to reduce their greenhouse gases. Similar pledges were made by other large greenhouse gas emitters including Europe, Japan and Australia.

Developing nations like China and India say they will curb emissions as a share of their growing economies. Environment ministers from the BASIC countries, (Brazil, South Africa, India, China), met in New Delhi last weekend to coordinate their responses to international climate change negotiations.

The small island Republic of the Marshall Islands also signed onto the deal, pledging to cut emissions by 40 percent by 2020. As one of the nations that stand to lose the most from rising sea levels due to climate change, they are calling for the immediate adoption of a legally binding treaty. Norway is leading the developed world by pledging reductions of 33-44 percent while New Zealand is pledging reductions of between 28-35 percent.

Despite pledges to reduce emissions from much of the world, some former Soviet Bloc Republics are planning to substantially increase their emissions. Russia is planning to increase its emissions by 18-33 percent, Belarus will increase emissions by 50-58 percent and the Ukraine will increase emissions by 77 percent. Click here for a chart of each country's emissions pledge.

With COP 16 expected to take place in Mexico from 29 November 2010 to 10 December, there is time to find solutions on outstanding disagreements including a financing formula for the $10 billion fund to assist developing nations with emissions reductions.

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