November 16, 2010 / 12:17 PM / 9 years ago

FACTBOX-The Copenhagen Accord: climate guide or too weak?

Nov 16 (Reuters) - U.N. climate talks in Cancun, Mexico, from Nov. 29 to Dec. 10 will discuss steps to combat climate change after a summit in Denmark in 2009 came up with only a non-binding Copenhagen Accord.

The United States favours using the 3-page Accord as a guide for Mexico, which aims to work out measures to slow global warming that fall short of a binding treaty. Some developing nations say it is a weak, flawed blueprint and should be scrapped.

SUPPORT - About 140 of 194 U.N. members including all top emitters led by China, the United States, Russia and India have signed up to the Accord since Copenhagen. Strong opponents include Bolivia, Sudan and Venezuela.

TEMPERATURES - The Accord says governments will work to combat climate change “recognising the scientific view that the increase in global temperature should be below 2 degrees Celsius” (3.6 Fahrenheit) over pre-industrial times. Temperatures have already risen by 0.7C since before the Industrial Revolution.

GREENHOUSE GAS EMISSIONS - The text merely urges “deep cuts in global emissions” to achieve the 2C goal. The United Nations says existing plans for cuts in emissions are too weak and will mean a temperature rise of about 3C.

ADAPTATION - The Accord promises to help countries adapt to the damaging impacts of climate change such as droughts, storms or rising sea levels, “especially least developed countries, small island developing states and Africa.” But it also says all nations face challenges of adapting to “response measures” — OPEC nations, for instance, argue they should be compensated if this means a shift from oil to renewable energy.

2020 TARGETS - In an annex, rich nations have this year listed their national goals for cuts in greenhouse gases and developing nations set out actions to slow the rise of emissions by 2020.

VERIFICATION - Developed nations will submit emissions goals for U.N. review. Developing nations’ actions will be under domestic review if funded by their own budgets but “subject to international measurement, reporting and verification” when funded by foreign aid. In Copenhagen, China resisted foreign review while the United States said it was vital.

DEFORESTATION - The text sees a “crucial role” for slowing deforestation — trees store carbon dioxide as they grow.

MARKETS - Countries will “pursue various approaches, including opportunities to use markets”.

AID - Developed nations promise new and additional funds “approaching $30 billion for 2010-12” to help developing countries. In the longer term, “developed countries commit to a goal of mobilising jointly $100 billion a year by 2020”. A panel of experts concluded this month that the goal was “feasible but challenging” and hinged on wider pricing of carbon emissions.

GREEN FUND - Countries will set up a “Copenhagen Green Climate Fund” to help channel aid. It will also set up a “Technology Mechanism” to accelerate use of green technologies. Agreement on a new green fund is among goals for Cancun, but will not have the “Copenhagen” name attached.

REVIEW - The accord will be reviewed in 2015, including whether the temperature goal should be toughened to 1.5C. An alliance of about 100 least developed countries and small island states want temperatures to rise less than 1.5 degrees. (For a link to U.N. material on the Copenhagen Accord, click on: unfccc.int/home/items/5262.php) (Compiled by Alister Doyle in Oslo, Editing by Janet Lawrence) (For Reuters latest environment blogs, click on: blogs.reuters.com/environment/)

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