What Copenhagen did - and did not - achieve

Posted: 20 December 2009

The following summary of what the Copenhagen Accord achieved and did not achieve was compiled by The Observer Science editor, Robin McKie. It is reproduced here with permission.


Acceptance by most nations that global temperature rises must be kept under 2C.

Promise to give poorer nations up to $30bn to cope with climate change.

A goal of $100bn a year for poorer nations by 2020, for adapting to global warming and clean technology.

Funding to enable forest nations to protect trees from loggers and farmers.

Preserves Kyoto protocol, which places binding responsibility on rich nations.


No targets whatsoever for reductions in greenhouse gas emissions.

Hitting the deadline for a legally binding treaty, as set out in Bali in 2007.

No future deadline set for the legally binding deal to cut carbon emissions.

No guarantee or information on where the climate funds will come from.


Negotiators will try to complete details on deforestation and other lower-level issues.

Countries must register their planned emissions cuts by the end of January.

The UN's climate body's meeting in Bonn in May will tackle the issue of emissions.

The major annual meeting will convene on 7 December 2010 in Mexico, which will aim to seal a legal treaty.

Copyright Guardian Unlimited 19 December 2009. Robert McKie's article 'Why I believe all is not lost - yet' can be seen here