Key Nations to Meet as Copenhagen Accord Deadline Looms

Despite the disappointment felt in the wake of COP15 last month, which ended with less than 30 of the 192 nations present pledging to sign the resulting agreement, representatives from Brazil, China, India, and South Africa will be meeting this month to discuss the future of the international treaty. With the January 31 deadline for uncommitted nations to endorse the Copenhagen accord approaching, the quartet of developing nations will be urging others to indicate their support for the agreement, which, according to UN law, requires a consensus to be legally binding.Opinions of the Deal Are Mixed
The meeting is planned for January 24 and will take place in New Delhi. The four nations, along with the United States, were key players in finalizing the draft during the Copenhagen climate conference, though the reactions were mixed among the parties involved, ranging from satisfaction and hopefulness, to vocal disappointment. But regardless of its shortcomings, they're hoping that others nations will come forward and sign onto the agreement.

Whether the political will is there or not, some observers are worried that the January 31 deadline may not afford nations time enough to consult their parliaments and return to the UN with specifics on just how they will meet the reduction requirements.

Disappointed Nations Unconvinced
While many see the any agreement at all as being a step in the right direction, some nations, particularly in the developing world, regard the carbon emission reductions required in the accord to be too slight and the $100 billion of pledged funds to combat climate change to be insufficient.

Bolivian President Evo Morales has announced a new climate conference to take place in Cochabamba next April in hopes of producing more radical measures, like creation of an international court for environmental crimes, as well as the radical idea of "mother earth" rights, the Bolivian ambassador in London told the Guardian.

A Litmus Test for Mexico City
The unremarkable results of COP-15 have many fixing their eyes on the planned climate conference in Mexico City later this year, but a failure to garner support for the current accord may have troubling implications on any future deal--the legalization of which is bound to encounter similar political hurdles.

When Brazil, China, India, and South Africa meet later this month to urge nations to follow through in the final stretch of a race that has so many of them disheartened by finalizing the Copenhagen accord, those hopeful for any future agreement will be taking note of any rusty gears in the political machinery that might impede the process the next time around.

More on the Results of COP15
Barack Obama and the UNFCCC
Blaming China for Copenhagen Won't Help the Climate
Copenhagen's Silver Lining: Is the Accord a Big Step Forward?

Tags: Brazil | China | India | South Africa