Le ommet de copenhague

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What happened at the Copenhagen Summit? Why is it so difficult for the Word Leaders to cooperate even on the brink of a major disaster?


Introduction page 3
1. The fighting between the emerging powers and western countries page 4
2. The political context page 4
3. The cultural difference page 5
4. The “Agreement” page 7
5. Anyhope? page 8
Conclusion page 9
Some references page 10


The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) has been adopted at Rio de Janeiro on 1992 by 154 countries and the European Union. In 2004, it has been ratified by 189 countries. The objective of this UN entity is to understand the climate change and how to take thealleviate measures and mitigation. The conference of the parties (COP) is the highest internal organization to monitor the good implementation of the fixed objectives. The last COP was held in Bali (2007), Poznan (2008) and Copenhagen (2009).

The protocol of Kyoto (December 2007) made the main developed countries to engage themselves to reduce by 5.2 % the emission of greenhouses gas for theperiod of 2008-2012. However, not all the developed countries signed the protocol (e.g. USA). The conference of Copenhagen was supposed to succeed to the protocol of Kyoto, which shall expire in 2012.

Heads of States and representatives of 193 countries attended the 2 weeks conference. However, on 19th December, the negotiations between the developed countries, the emerging powers and thedeveloping countries did not finalize onto an official ambitious agreement.

More than an agreement, it was a political document of three pages that came out on December, 19th, after a last night of discussion, hours after the scheduled time of closure. Some nations leaded the game: USA, China, Brasilia, India, South Africa. The European Union was not in the ultimate discussions and accepted theagreement with difficulties. The UN took notice of the text after several hours of confusion. For some, it was positive, for others, a failure.

What happen during these two weeks of debates and discussion? What were the main difficulties? How that is happen the world leaders have too many difficulties to cooperate on the brink of a major disaster?

1. The fighting between theemerging powers and western countries
Most of the debates have seen the fighting between the United States and China. They accused each other of not doing enough. These two countries, one superpower, and one in phase to become it, are the symbols of the deep disagreement between the emerging and western countries and show the new world balance of power.
The emerging countries, especially Indiaand China, wanted from the rich countries a strong commitment on the reduction of greenhouses gas emission, but refused themselves to be subjected under constraint objectives and scrutiny. The western countries, leaded by the United States, asked to the emerging countries to increase their effort and more transparency in order to monitor their engagement. For China, this verification sounded as“interference”. There were also other fighting between France, India and China…
It seemed also that no countries were able to lead and bound the debate exchange as everyone was looking at their own interests. The UN negotiation system was not efficient to direct the debates and to make everyone agreed on something. The UN system is based on “mutual consensus”, that means that each UN countrieshave to agree all together (or at least the majority) with the decision taken, which was not the case in Copenhagen.
China and African countries had to fight so that the content of the protocol of Kyoto had to be integrated into the debates. For them, the protocol of Kyoto represents the guarantee that the developed countries continue to have constraint commitments, because of the penalties...
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