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The Copenhagen Climate Summit

By Salome Phelamei | Updated: Dec 07, 2009, 08:55 AM IST

Salome Phelamei

Delegations from 192 countries will gather at the Bella Centre in Copenhagen, Denmark for the United Nations Climate Change Conference to discuss the issue of climate change and find long-term solutions to fight its consequences. The conference, which is being held from December 7 to 18, 2009, includes the 15th Conference of the Parties (COP 15) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and the 5th Meeting of the Parties (COP/MOP 5) to the Kyoto Protocol. The key objective of the conference is to agree to a framework for climate change mitigation beyond 2012.

Main objectives

The main purpose of the Copenhagen Climate Summit is to create international awareness to prevent climate change and global warming, and to create a new climate treaty to replace the Kyoto Protocol that runs out in 2012.

It also aims to promote constructive dialogue between the government, business and science. By inspiring global business leaders, the Summit aims to demonstrate that tackling climate change can generate huge opportunities for transformation and economic growth.


--emission targets of industrialized countries

--emission cuts of major developing countries

--financing of reduced emissions

Despite the current global economic slowdown, the carbon-dioxide (CO2) emissions from power plants, factories, tree-felling and other human activities grew by 29 percent between 2000 and 2008, based on a report by The Global Carbon Project, an international group of climate scientists. Besides, the rapid rise of population and developing countries striving hard to improve the standards of living are among the forces that have contributed to the surge in emissions. Therefore, the need to cut CO2 emissions is pressing.

Meanwhile, the UN climate chief, Yvo de Boer has hailed the world`s two top CO2 emitters – the US and China`s moves to pledge reduction in greenhouse gas emissions over the next decade.

China has announced that it would cut CO2 emissions per unit of gross domestic product by 40 to 45 percent by 2020 compared with levels in 2005, as part of its contribution to the fight against global warming.

The US, on the other hand, is considering to reduce its carbon emissions by 17 percent by 2020. The US also aims for a 30 percent emission reduction from 2005 levels by 2025, and a 42 percent reduction by 2030.

Similarly, India has expressed its willingness to sign on to an ambitious global target for emission reduction with equitable burden sharing, and could consider voluntarily reducing its carbon intensity by 20-25% on a purely domestic level.

Who Will Attend?

More than 15,000 officials from 192 countries are expected to attend, among them leaders of Australia, Brazil, France, Germany, Indonesia, Japan, Spain, UK, and the United States. Top leaders from developing countries like India and China are also expected to attend the summit.


With China and the US pledging to cut their carbon emissions, governments and environmentalists are confident about agreeing to a new comprehensive global climate change treaty. There is a hope that many developing countries would follow in the US and China`s footsteps in announcing emissions reduction targets. It is also a challenge for the industrialised nations to set a substantial quantitative reduction targets during the Summit.


The Copenhagen Climate summit is sponsored by Alstom, Climate Consortium Denmark, DONG Energy, Masdar, Novo Nordisk, Novozymes, and Scandinavian Airlines.