China, India agree to non-binding climate accord News
China, India agree to non-binding climate accord

[JURIST] China and India agreed Tuesday to endorse the non-binding Copenhagen Accord [text, PDF], which calls for self-imposed limits on greenhouse gas emissions [JURIST news archive]. Some 100 countries have already agreed [NYT report] to be associated with the non-binding accord, which arose from the UN Climate Change Conference (COP15) [official website; JURIST report] held in Copenhagen in December. China and India, nations that are among the world's largest and most quickly growing producers of greenhouse gas emissions, were the last major players to sign on to the agreement. Their delay caused some concern about the agreement's credibility and potential future impact.

The UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) [official website] announced [JURIST report] in February that another round of formal climate talks will be held April 9-11 in Bonn, Germany, to follow up on the recent Copenhagen conference. While no legally-binding agreement was reached at the conclusion of the COP15 in December, 192 UN member countries agreed to "take note" [press release] of the non-binding accord developed by leaders from the US, China, India, Brazil, and South Africa in an effort to limit the global temperature rise to below 2 degrees Celsius. In January, more than 50 countries, including the US, China, and EU member states, submitted plans [JURIST report] to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to the UNFCCC. Relative to 2005 levels, the US has pledged to reduce emissions to 17 percent, while China has targeted a 40 to 45 percent reduction per GDP unit. EU members pledged a 20 percent reduction below 1990 levels.