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Dickinson to Durban » Entries tagged with "Copenhagen Accord"

Is something better than nothing?

The first major paper I completed at Dickinson College was one entitled, “A New Atmosphere for International Relations: Working together to solve a global crisis”. It was an essay written for a 100 level international relations course in which I discussed the COP15 Copenhagen Climate Change Conference. In my response, I held a very pessimistic view that there would not be a significant change in policy as a result of the conference. While what I predicted turned out to be fairly accurate, I can almost promise that my opinion did not have a very strong foundation in background information. I was not even an environmental studies major at the time and to be honest, I’m pretty sure that for a while I thought the acronym COP was in reference to the fact that … Read entire article »

Filed under: Summer Reading Responses

“Full of Sound and Fury, Signifying Nothing”

While studying British literature in high school, it never occurred to me that one of Shakespeare’s most famous lines might one day aptly describe the outcome of international climate negotiations – and certainly not the Copenhagen meeting in which so much hope was invested. Yet alas! For, to borrow Macbeth’s own words, the non-binding Copenhagen Accord was “full of sound and fury, signifying nothing”. But could a document signed by so many top government leaders and diplomats really be deserving of such a comparison? Well, let’s take a look. The Accord has 5 pages (the actual statement is only 3) to outline the agreement everyone reached. It impressively acknowledges that “climate change is one of the greatest challenges of our time” and asserts that the Parties have “strong political will to … Read entire article »

Filed under: Climate Change, Summer Reading Responses

We Will Figure it out Next Year

The fact that the countries of the world come together every year for the Conference of the Parties (COP) to discuss and debate climate change is progress by itself. It is impressive that every year almost every nation sends delegate to this conference to confront together one of the largest challenges of our time in a peaceful manner. However, discussion is only the first step, and it seems that the global community is having a difficult time moving on to step two which is to take action. This struggle is reflected in most of the agreements that the COP comes to by the end of each conference. They restate what they agree on: climate change is occurring, and every nation needs to take some degree of responsibility for it. Then, … Read entire article »

Filed under: Climate Change

Our legs are moving but are we walking?

Are climate negotiations moving forward? Yes, but at a crawl. The results of the past two COP gatherings have yielded two documents: the Copenhagen Accord and the Cancun Agreements. The Copenhagen Accord, written at COP 15, is a short document expressing the recognition that global climate change is a serious problem and the only way to address it is through serious cutbacks in emissions. It also clearly states that two degrees Celsius is the target for maximum temperature change. This in itself is not a novel idea; however, the last sentence of the document asks for “consideration of strengthening the long-term goal referencing various matters presented by the science, including in relation to temperature rises of 1.5 degrees Celsius.” The idea to cut emissions below the minimum required has not … Read entire article »

Filed under: Climate Change