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climate change > newsfile > ngos write blueprint for copenhagen climate treaty

NGOs write blueprint for Copenhagen climate treaty

Posted: 09 Jun 2009

Climate change experts from leading non-governmental organisations (NGOs) today unveiled their blueprint for a legally binding Copenhagen agreement. This will serve as the benchmark for governments negotiating a new climate deal this year and shows how major differences between rich and poor nations can be overcome.

The Greenland ice-sheet contains 11% of the world�s fresh water. Credit: NASA
The Greenland ice-sheet contains 11% of the world's fresh water. Credit: NASA
The 160-page �Copenhagen Climate Treaty�, which will be distributed to negotiators from 192 states, took some of the world�s most experienced climate NGOs almost a year to write and contains a full legal text covering all the main elements needed to provide the world with a fair and ambitious agreement that keeps climate change impacts below the unacceptable risk levels identified by most scientists.

�This is the first time in history that a coalition of civil society groups has taken such a step. Together we have produced the most coherent legal document to date showing balanced and credible climate solutions based on equity and science� said Kim Carstensen of WWF International.

The document describes the path the world must be on to avoid catastrophic climate change, recognising that global temperature increase must be kept well below 2 degrees Celsius. It sets a global cap on emissions � a carbon budget � and explains in detail how both industrialised and developing countries can contribute to the safety of the planet and its people, according to their means and responsibilities and shows how the poorest and most vulnerable on the planet can be protected and compensated.

Ice melting into the Arctic Ocean. Photo: Peter West/National Science Foundation
Ice melting into the Arctic Ocean. Photo � Peter West/National Science Foundation
�We have put protection of the climate and therefore the planet and its people at the heart of this Treaty and we should expect and demand no less of our governments� said Martin Kaiser of Greenpeace International. �All that is needed now is political will and the �cut and paste� feature to produce the agreement the world is waiting for� he added.

Adaptation is another key component of the Treaty outlining an Adaptation Action Framework which includes financial support, insurance and a process that looks into compensation for the most vulnerable countries.

�Help for the poor and vulnerable to deal with the climate impacts that are unavoidable is crucial. Without a strong, effective deal in Copenhagen we could also be looking at more resource wars, disruption, refugees and natural catastrophes in the very near future,� said Wael Hmaidan, IndyACT.

Part of the Maldives archipelago, under threat from sea rise.<br>� D Sanson/Panos Pictures
Part of the Maldives archipelago under threat from sea rise
� D. Sansoni/Panos Pictures
The Treaty calls for a legally binding agreement consisting of three parts; the Kyoto Protocol, updated to strengthen industrialised country obligations; a new Copenhagen Protocol that has legally binding commitments for the USA and sets out low carbon pathways for developing countries, supported by the industrialised world; a set of decisions that lays the groundwork for action up to 2012.

The �Copenhagen Climate Treaty�, was drafted by Greenpeace, WWF, IndyACT (the League of Independent Activists), Germanwatch, David Suzuki Foundation, National Ecological Centre of Ukraine and expert individuals from around the world.

The Climate Treaty includes:

  • The annual global carbon budget in 2020 from all sources of greenhouse gases (not counting those controlled by the Montr�al Protocol) would be no higher than 36.1 Gt CO2e, bringing emissions down to roughly 1990 levels and would need to be reduced to 7.2 Gt CO2e in 2050, in other words by 80 per cent below 1990 levels.
  • A design proposal for a new institution � the Copenhagen Climate Facility - to manage the processes for emissions cuts, adaptation and forest protection under the new global treaty.
  • A recipe for long-term action plans for both developed countries (Zero Carbon Action Plans, ZCAPs) and developing countries (Low Carbon Action Plans, LCAPs).
  • Binding targets for Newly Industrialized Countries (NICs) like Singapore, South Korea and Saudi Arabia in line with the Convention principle of common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities.

The Treaty document can be downloaded here (PDF).

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