Climate Change Negotiations Begin in Copenhagen

The 15th Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP 15) begins today in Copenhagen. Over the next two weeks, climate change negotiators from 192 countries will gather to discuss a successor to the Kyoto Protocol in the aim of crafting an agreement which can limit a rise in temperature to 2 degrees centigrade, agreed by policy-makers as the upper limit to avoid ‘dangerous’ climate change.

The Guardian this morning carries an editorial on its front page calling for world leaders to take action on climate change; an editorial which simultaneously appears in 56 newspapers around the globe. The piece calls for politicians to agree the essential elements of a deal in Copenhagen, with a timetable for turning it into a treaty. In the same newspaper, Prime Minister Gordon Brown calls for a global, legally-binding, treaty to be agreed no more than six months after the Copenhagen summit ends.

The newspaper reports that the mood around the negotiations has become more optimistic, with 100 world leaders, including President Obama, now declaring their intention to attend. The US is also expected to announce that CO2 will be declared a ‘public danger’, clearing the way for the Environmental Protection Agency to take action on emissions, in the absence of a US climate change law.

Over 5,000 journalists are expected to attend the Copenhagen summit and many blogs will cover the negotiations in real time. The Guardian has a section of its website dedicated to COP 15, including a live blog and twitter feeds from others, including WWF, covering the conference.