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Illustration of United Nations Climate Change conference 2009. Copenhagen, Denmark,
Friday, Dec. 18, 2009.

Countries Call for Copenhagen Climate Initiatives to Begin

January 25, 2010 04:25 PM
by findingDulcinea Staff
At the Copenhagen conference, $10 billion was promised to developing nations to help them combat the effects of climate change. South Africa, Brazil, China and India say it's time to pay up.

The Aftermath of the Copenhagen Conference

Among the issues world leaders discussed at the Copenhagen Climate Change conference in December 2009 was sweeping emissions cuts, especially in the U.S. and China, notoriously high polluters. Another major concern was settling on an aid package for developing countries to cope with climate change, a problem they feel “they did little to create,” Tom Zeller Jr. reported for The New York Times back in December.

As the new year begins, some countries—Brazil, India, China and South Africa (called BASIC)—think it's high time for developed countries to pay the $10 billion that was promised in Copenhagen. The four countries also announced that they would turn in their plans for fighting climate change to the United Nations this week, Ashok Sharma reported for the Associated Press.

Many wealthy nations had hoped that the Kyoto Protocol, which required only rich countries to reduce emissions, would be replaced with an agreement that also required developing nations to make cuts. But Sharma writes that President Obama and the BASIC countries made a deal: The Copenhagen Accord requires poor nations to formulate plans by Jan. 31, though that deadline has been extended.

Background: Leading up to Copenhagen

An editorial published in The Guardian demanded progress and decisiveness from world leaders in Copenhagen. The editorial, republished in 56 newspapers throughout the world, stated: “This should not be a fight between the rich world and the poor world, or between east and west. Climate change affects everyone, and must be solved by everyone.”

The Guardian went on to describe the potential repercussions of a temperature rise of more than two degrees Celsius, and held the U.S. accountable for stymied progress. “Even now the world finds itself at the mercy of American domestic policies, for the president cannot fully commit to the action required until the US Congress has done so.”

Meanwhile, “polls show the number of Americans who believe global warming is actually happening is at its lowest point in twelve years,” according to a video segment on NECN/ABC.

Tunku Varadarajan provides "A Skeptic's Guide to Copenhagen" on The Daily Beast. The sometimes snarky editorial is an A-Z guide covering terms and references related to the Copenhagen proceedings.

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