COP15: outcomes and the way forward

News Published 20 Jan 2010 Last modified 21 Jun 2016
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The United Nations Climate Change Conference held in Copenhagen ended on Saturday, 19 December 2009. The main outcome of the conference was a political agreement – known as the Copenhagen Accord – to cap the global temperature rise by committing to significant emission reductions and to raise funds to help the developing world address climate change.

The Copenhagen Accord: 

  • recognises the objective to keep the maximum global average temperature rise below 2°C and the need for a review in 2015 to consider a possible goal of a maximum temperature rise of 1.5°C using new scientific insights;
  • calls for listing economy-wide emission reduction targets for developed countries and mitigation action by developing countries by 31 January 2010;
  • recognises the need for enhanced action on adaptation to reduce vulnerability and building resilience in developing countries, especially least developed countries, small island developing states and Africa;
  • outlines the main elements of developed countries' commitments for new and additional funding for both adaptation and mitigation in developing countries, including a Fast Start programme (US$ 30 billion) for 2010–2012 and long-term finance (US$ 100 billion annually by 2020). This funding will come from a wide variety of sources, public and private, bilateral and multilateral;
  • stresses the importance of establishing robust monitoring, reporting and verification;
  • highlights the need for setting up immediately mechanisms for reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation and other land use changes;
  • recognises the need to step up action on the development and transfer of technology.


The challenge will now be to turn this political agreement into an effective and legally binding agreement by COP16 in Mexico

(29 November-10 December 2010).

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