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Copenhegan Summit

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The 2009 United Nations Climate Change Conference, commonly known as the Copenhagen Summit, was held at the Bella Center in Copenhagen, Denmark, between 7 December and 18 December. 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.

The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC or FCCC) is an international environmental treaty produced at the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED), informally known as the Earth Summit, held in Rio de Janeiro from 3 to 14 June 1992. The objective of the treaty is to stabilize greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere at a level that would prevent dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system.


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 Copenhagen Climate Council is a global collaboration between international business and science founded by the leading independent think tank in Scandinavia, Monday Morning, based in Copenhagen. The councilors of the Copenhagen Climate Council have come together to create global awareness of the importance of the UN Climate Summit (COP15) in Copenhagen, December 2009, and to ensure technical and public support and assistance to global decision makers when agreeing on a new climate treaty to replace the Kyoto Protocol from 1997.

The negotiations began to take a new format 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.

Connie Hedegaard was president of the conference until December 16, 2009, handing over the chair to Danish Prime Minister Lars Løkke Rasmussen in the final stretch of the conference, during negotiations between heads of state and government. On Friday 18 December, the final day of the conference, international media reported that the climate talks were "in disarray". Media also reported that in lieu of a summit collapse, solely a "weak political statement" was anticipated at the conclusion of the conference.

The Copenhagen Accord was drafted by the US, China, India, Brazil and South Africa on December 18, and judged a "meaningful agreement" by the United States government. It was "taken note of", but not "adopted", in a debate of all the participating countries the next day, and it was not passed unanimously. The document recognised that climate change is one of the greatest challenges of the present and that actions should be taken to keep any temperature increases to below 2°C. The document is not legally binding and does not contain any legally binding commitments for reducing CO2 emissions. Many countries and non-governmental organisations were opposed to this agreement.

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