An equitable climate agreement in Copenhagen must take into account countries’ historical responsibility and capacity to act.
Executive summary: Under these principles, industrialised countries must not only take responsibility for reducing their own emissions but must also provide financial support for developing countries to develop on a low-carbon pathway, protect tropical forests and adapt to those climate impacts that are now unavoidable. Without such support, it will not be possible to meet global objectives of avoiding catastrophic climate change, or for vulnerable countries to protect their people from the impacts that are already coming.
The current state of the global economy cannot be an excuse for further delay. While significant resources must be mobilised to address the climate crisis, the costs of inaction will far exceed the costs of action. It is estimated that every year of delay will increase mid term mitigation costs by hundreds of billions of US dollars in the energy sector alone.
Industrialised countries have already agreed under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and the Bali Action Plan to provide this money. Agreement on massively scaled up funding for developing countries is therefore a key prerequisite for a robust agreement in Copenhagen.
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