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The Copenhagen Communiqué

The Copenhagen Communiqué is a short, punchy statement that draws on some of the key thinking on climate policy that has emerged from the international business community over the past two years, and sets out the business case for a strong and effective UN climate framework.


The basic shape of an agreement should be as follows:
• The agreement must establish a global emissions cap and long-term reduction pathway for all greenhouse gas emissions and sources, for the period 2013 to 2050 (with interim targets). These targets will need to be guided by science to ensure global greenhouse gas concentrations are stabilised below critical thresholds. When stating this, we understand that there is an emerging consensus behind an objective of
limiting global average temperature rise to less than 2 degrees Celsius compared to pre-industrial levels and that this will require global emissions to peak and begin to decline rapidly within the next decade. Even this scenario will require a reduction of 50-85% by 2050, according to the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), and the later the peak in emissions, the
greater and costlier the required reduction. There is nothing to be gained by delay.

• Developed countries need to take on immediate and deep emission reduction commitments that are much higher than the global average, and which are backed up with credible strategies to de-carbonise their economies. The developed countries need to demonstrate that low-carbon growth is both achievable and desirable. They must also support the institutions and frameworks that will provide the necessary financial and technological assistance to developing countries.

• Developing countries will need to play their part by drawing up their own emission reduction plans in line with their common but differentiated responsibilities and capabilities. Advanced developing countries should continue to develop low-carbon growth plans, building towards the adoption of appropriate and economy-wide commitments by 2020. Action at the sector level will help accelerate the large-scale
deployment of clean technologies through robust funding solutions, technological transfer and capacity building. The least developed economies need additional assistance including increased and adequate financing, and expanded cooperation to help them adapt to and join the new low-carbon economy.


The strength of an agreement will be judged on its ability to drive substantive action both inside and outside the UN process, at national and international levels, but in line with the principles agreed in Copenhagen.