Saturday, December 19, 2009


The United Nations Climate Change Conference was held at the Bella Center in Copenhagen, Denmark, between 7 December and 18 December 2009. The conference included the 15th Conference of the Parties (COP 15) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and the 5th Meeting of the Parties (COP/MOP 5) to the Kyoto Protocol. According to the Bali Road Map, a framework for climate change mitigation beyond 2012 was to be agreed there.[2]

The conference was preceded by the Climate Change: Global Risks, Challenges and Decisions scientific conference, which took place in March 2009 and was also held at the Bella Center. The negotiations began to take a new form when in May 2009 UN Secretary General Ban-Ki Moon attended the World Business Summit on Climate Change in Copenhagen, organised by the Copenhagen Climate Council (COC), where he requested that COC councillors attend New York's Climate Week at the Summit on Climate Change on 22 September and engage with heads of government on the topic of the climate problem.[3]

Connie Hedegaard was president of the conference until December 16, 2009, leaving the chair in the final stretch of the conference, in which negotiations included heads of state and government, to Danish Prime Minister Lars Løkke Rasmussen.[1] On Friday 18 December, the final day of the conference, international media reported that the climate talks were "In disarray".[4][5][6] Media also reported that in lieu of a summit collapse, a "weak political statement" was anticipated as the conference's end product.[7][8]

The Copenhagen Accord was written by the US, China, India, Brazil and South Africa on December 18, being called a "meaningful agreement" by the United States government. It was "recogised", but not "agreed upon", in a debate of all the participating countries the next day but it was not passed unanimously. The document recognised that climate change is a major problem and that action should be taken to keep any temperature increases to below 2°C. The document is not legally binding and does not contain any commitments for reducing CO2 emissions.[9] Leaders including Barack Obama and Gordon Brown were pleased with the agreement but leaders of poorer countries and non-governmental organisations were unhappy with the agreement.