U.S. Energy Information Administration - EIA - Independent Statistics and Analysis
International Energy Outlook 2011
Release Date: September 19, 2011 | Next Scheduled Release Date: July 2013 | Report Number: DOE/EIA-0484(2011)
The Copenhagen Accord
In December 2009, the fifteenth session of the Conference of Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP-15) was held in Copenhagen, Denmark. Although COP-15 did not produce a legally binding agreement to cut emissions, key developed and developing countries negotiated a Copenhagen Accord that was noted by the COP in its final session. Under the Accord, a process was established for countries to enter specific mitigation pledges by January 31, 2010.
In addition to voluntary reduction goals, the developed countries at COP-15 pledged $30 billion in added resources in the 2010-2012 time frame to help developing countries reduce emissions, preserve and enhance forests, and adapt to climate change . They also set a further goal of mobilizing $100 billion per year in public and private financing by 2020 to address the needs of developing countries .
The emissions mitigation pledges submitted by countries pursuant to the Copenhagen Accord fall into two general categories: absolute reductions and intensity reductions. Absolute reductions reduce greenhouse gas emissions independent of economic or material output. Japan, Russia, the European Union, the United States, and Brazil have announced absolute reduction goals, which are expressed as percentage reductions below historical base-year amounts. (For example, Japan has announced its goal to reduce carbon dioxide emissions to 25 percent below 1990 levels by 2020.) China and India have announced intensity reduction goals, which typically are expressed as reductions in emissions per unit of output as measured by GDP. (For example, China has announced its intention to reduce its carbon emissions intensity by 2020 to a level that is 40 to 45 percent below its emissions intensity in 2005.)
Some of the non-binding commitments submitted under COP-15 are shown in Table 17 to provide a comparison with IEO2011 Reference case projections, which do not assume that greenhouse gas reduction goals will be met. For the United States, the European Union, Japan, and Brazil, further reductions in energy-related carbon dioxide emissions probably would be necessary to achieve the 2020 targets. Depending on the region, the required reductions range between 208 and 1,249 million metric tons in 2020. For Russia, the Reference case projects emissions in 2020 that are 10 percent lower than the country's Copenhagen Accord goal. Similarly, the Copenhagen Accord goals for China and India in 2020 are higher than the 2020 projections in the IEO2011 Reference case.
The sixteenth Conference of the Parties (COP-16) and sixth Meeting of the Parties (CMP-6) convened from November 29 through December 10, 2010, in Cancun, Mexico. The Parties adopted a package of agreements that reaffirmed and built upon the Copenhagen Accord. The Cancun Agreements reaffirm the Copenhagen Accord's goal to limit the global average temperature rise to 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels . The Agreements also include formal recognition for the first time of the reduction pledges made in the Copenhagen Accord, by "taking note" of the pledges made by both developed and developing countries. They indicate that the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM), by which Annex I nations may use non-Annex I mitigation projects to offset their emissions, will continue beyond 2012. In addition, the Agreements create a new "standardized baseline" process for some types of CDM projects.
Other actions agreed to at Cancun include:
- Setting out a reporting framework that continues annual submission of inventories by developed nations, creates a new registry for developing nations to report on mitigation actions that receive international financing, and provides general guidelines for reporting
- Providing a framework to develop financing and other policies for the Reduce Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation (REDD+) program, and calling on developing nations to develop national strategies and reference levels for future efforts to reduce deforestation
- Establishing the World Bank as interim trustee of the Green Climate Fund, which seeks to raise $100 billion per year from public and private sources by 2020 to support greenhouse gas mitigation efforts in developing countries
- Setting up the Cancun Adaption Framework to formalize and outline efforts to enhance adaption activities by all UNFCCC members
- Establishing the Technology Mechanism to assist developing countries with identification, transfer, and application of appropriate low-carbon technologies.
- World energy demand and economic outlook
- Liquid fuels
- Natural gas
- Industrial sector energy consumption
- Transportation sector energy consumption
- Energy-related carbon dioxide emissions
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