The Copenhagen Climate Change Conference ended in a large controversy because of a meeting which was held and attended by only 26 of the 192 countries in attendance. These countries in attendance, which happen to be the more wealthy and powerful, consisted of the U.S., Russia, Japan, Germany, the UK, France, China, India, Brazil, South Africa, and others such as Ethiopia, Grenada and Saudi Arabia. Although 26 were in the “secretive meeting” only 14 of these countries were active in contributing to the accord. This was very unsettling to many of the other countries, and when the Danish President tried to recess the convention for an hour, so that the countries could read and adopt the accord, the Venezuelan delegate used what means she had to get his attention. The main reason for outrage was that such a small proportion of those under the UN had been chosen to decide the alleged deaths of millions, especially in countries which had not been asked to consult on this subject. Not only was it said to be in the interest of the more wealthy and powerful, but that it was a violation of the UN Charters principle in general. Many of the more developed countrieswere in awe about the reaction to the accord from the 26 member meeting; because they had alleged intentions of keeping everyone in mind, they believed that those who were speaking out against it were in the wrong essentially.
The conference ended in a compromise which would “take note” of the accord. The issue was that they gave no real obligation to resume what had been discussed. Nor would they say if this should be viewed positively or negatively. It is important to recognize not the fact that it was a mere 26 countries deciding the fate of all, even though it seems in the wrong, but that the whole meeting was against the principles of the UN in general, thus leading to a greater suspicion of wrongful intentions.
Source: “Copenhagen climate summit ends in discord” Martin Khor, Third World Resurgence, January 10th, 2010, issue No.233
Student Researchers: Alex Muxen
Faculty Instructor: Peter Phillips
Evaluator: Elaine Leeder—Dean of Social Sciences at Sonoma State University