India and China finally join Copenhagen accord

After the delayed responses to the Danish question from India and China, are the leaders of the world really any closer to combatting climate change?

India and China have now both given their approval to the Copenhagen climate accord, the last-minute agreement that transpired from the chaos of the UN’s disappointing summit in Copenhagen.

Earlier there had been concern that without the concurrence of the world’s two fastest growing polluters the accord would fall through.

The official messages sent to the UN‘s climate secretariat, however, have done little to ease the dim view that a legal international agreement regarding global warming will reach a conclusion this year.  By eschewing the word “associated” it seems that India and China are purposefully trying to distance themselves from full approbation.

Reports in The Guardian say the delayed response from the two countries further highlights the gulf that still exists between the US – the strongest backer of the accord – and the other key nations on how to combat climate change.

Since the summit in Copenhagen there had been some confusion over how to achieve a legal binding treaty to reduce greenhouse emissions.  Even though the accord set last-minute environmental targets, it did not state how this could be achieved.

It has been suggested that decisions over whether a new global treaty must be unanimously agreed are at the heart of the disagreements.  

The European Union‘s climate commissioner, Connie Hedegaard, believes “remaining differences between parties may delay agreement on this until next year.”

 

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