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The Copenhagen Climate Conference was a meeting of ministers and officials to develop a sequel to the Kyoto Protocol.  The conference lasted for two weeks in December 2009 in the title city.  The point is to devise an international strategy to combat climate change.  This meeting is the most recent in a series of meetings dating back to 1992’s Earth Summit.  The official name of the meeting is COP15 which stands for the 15th Conference of the Parties.  These parties fall under the umbrella of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. 

Several countries are taking part in the Copenhagen Climate Conference.  The climate change convention has been signed by over 190 countries. The major players include the United States, the United Kingdom, China and India.  The actual meeting will feature an all star cast of over 15,000 diplomats, journalists, lobbyists and heads of state.  The different countries have different view regarding who has the most responsibility for cutting carbon emissions.  Developing nations such as India believe that the onus is on the more industrialized nations. This was a sticking point for the Kyoto protocol.  The wealthier nations did not feel that the developing nations should get a free pass. 

The hopes for the Copenhagen Climate Conference were high in the months leading up to it.  Billboards throughout the United States read “Hopenhagen.”  These billboards illustrated a hope for real change.  For that to happen there were four essential points that needed to be agreed upon by the participants.  First, it must determine how much reduction of emissions of greenhouse gases the industrialized nations would be willing to consider or commit to.  Second, how much will the developing nations be willing to limit as they grow.  Who will pay for these efforts and who will manage the funds? 

The Copenhagen Climate Conference ended with the Copenhagen Accord.  The Accord basically is a deal negotiated primarily by the United States, Brazil, China, India and South Africa.  It was not the lightening rod of change that many had hoped for.  Despite President Barack Obama’s pledge for the United States to reduce emissions significantly over the next years, it was simply not the meeting of the minds that would bring the world onto the same page to save the earth.  It was, however, a start. It lays out a framework for future talks and allows for funding for developing nations to play a bigger part. This is a step forward.