US Chamber Report Finds Fault in Copenhagen Plan

New Energy Institute Analysis: Copenhagen Commitments Fall Short
US Chamber of Commerce

WASHINGTON, D.C.— A new analysis released today by the U.S. Chamber’s Institute for 21st Century Energy reveals that even if emissions reduction pledges made under the Copenhagen Accord were adopted, the world would still see a significant rise in greenhouse gas emissions, primarily because of growing emissions from developing countries.  In a new report titled “Copenhagen Accord By-the-Numbers,” the Energy Institute analyzed all 2020 emissions reduction targets submitted by developed and developing nations to the Copenhagen Accord.  Under the Institute’s analysis, even if the targets submitted are adopted, global emissions in 2020 will still be above 2005 levels by as much as 20 percent.

While not formally adopted by the UN’s Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), the Copenhagen Accord is a political agreement to stimulate action, with parties to the UNFCCC invited to submit their individual emissions reduction pledges and other actions to the UNFCCC secretariat last month.

“The road to an international climate agreement is a very difficult one, as evidenced by the challenges negotiators faced in Copenhagen,” said Steve Eule, vice president for climate and technology at the Chamber’s Institute for 21st Century Energy.  “Looking ahead, with many of the most contentious issues in the climate negotiations unresolved, there’s an opportunity to open up a new chapter that focuses less on unrealistic targets and timetables and more on cooperation among governments and the business community.”

The Energy Institute has called for a realistic international approach that must include a larger role for the business community and emphasizes energy efficiency and new and advanced technology as integral to global energy and climate policy.  Other priorities for the U.S. Chamber include reducing trade barriers for energy technology and maintaining strong intellectual property rights.

Last month, the Institute released an in depth review of what transpired in Copenhagen, along with a guide to possible paths forward in international climate negotiations.  In September, the Chamber hosted the first meeting of the Major Economies Business Forum, designed to bring leading global business organizations together to work on energy and climate issues.

The mission of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Institute for 21st Century Energy is to unify policymakers, regulators, business leaders, and the American public behind a common sense energy strategy to help keep America secure, prosperous, and clean. Through policy development, education, and advocacy, the Institute is building support for meaningful action at the local, state, national, and international levels.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is the world’s largest business federation representing the interests of more than 3 million businesses of all sizes, sectors, and regions, as well as state and local chambers and industry associations.

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