Earlier this week, India and China finally agreed to sign on to the Copenhagen Accord. They join 44 other nations and the European Union in backing the Accord.
Interpretations of theCopenhagen Accord continue to differ, but in general the document sets a framework for limiting the rise in global temperatures to 2 degrees Celsius and provides a venue for major economies to make commitments of their own design to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
China has voluntarily committed to reduce its carbon intensity (carbon emissions as a percentage of GDP) by 40-45% from 2005 levels by 2020. India has voluntarily committed to reduce its carbon intensity by 20-25% from 2005 levels by 2020. The U.S. has agreed to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions 17% from 2005 levels by 2020.
It should be noted that India used its correspondence to the UN affirming its backing of the Accord to once again assert that the Accord is NOT legally binding. (See letter HERE.) India also prefers to see the Accord act as a foundation for a new climate agreement to be forged within the UNFCCC process. The US prefers a process outside of the UN.
The next round of climate talks will take place in Bonn in April, and we will continue to update you as the process unfolds.