Opportunity or Failure?

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Policy Paper

Opportunity or Failure?

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A Regional Analysis of the Copenhagen Climate Conference and how its Outcome Has Been Perceived

From a sheer climate protection perspective, various experts claim that the outcome of the Copenhagen climate conference has been a failure: Ambitious mid- and long-term goals for emission reductions are missing; hands-on policies for adaptation, finance, and technology transfer have not been set in place. Yet politically, it remains unclear whether Copenhagen can be called a failure, or whether it can be called a step forward. This, it seems, much depends on the regional and national perspectives. For some countries, for example most European countries, Copenhagen completely failed their expectations. For others, for example the United States or Brazil, it has quite played out to their particular interest, or has at least created some space for furthering their climate interests. Six weeks after the Copenhagen climate summit, this paper sheds some light on the different regional and national expectations of the conference, explains negotiation positions, and analyzes how perceptions on the outcome of the conference vary between key countries and regions. The paper concludes with an outlook on challenges to the international climate policy process in the months ahead.

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