Less than 100 days to Copenhagen: Time to panic?

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“It may be that the best outcome to be hoped for […] is an agreement at [upcoming international talks on a successor to the Kyoto Protocol on climate change in] Copenhagen to continue negotiations in earnest,” argues Christian Egenhofer, a senior research fellow at the Centre for European Policy Studies (CEPS), in a September paper.

“Is it time to panic?,” Egenhofer asks, before answering: “It has long been clear that there is a wide spectrum of possible outcomes.”

“With less than 100 days before the crucial global climate change conference opens in Copenhagen, negotiations remain stuck,” he writes.

According to the analyst, “it seems now that the outcome will tend more towards […] a general political deal where countries commit to an agreement and outline the main elements”.

“It has long been clear that the United States will not be ready by the time of Copenhagen, despite the important policy shift on climate change under the Obama administration,” Egenhofer states.

Moreover, “other developed countries, such as Australia and Japan, are also struggling to come up with an ambitious yet domestically acceptable target,” he adds.

Similarly, even though “many developing countries have put in place – often very ambitious – domestic climate change policies, they tend to delay when it comes to making a commitment in international negotiations,” he deplores.

“It is important that the developed countries, led by the EU, do not accede too easily to the less well-founded demands of developing countries, just to be able to declare a political victory,” Egenhofer concludes. 

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