So. Then. The Copenhagen Accord.
Summary (from Circle of Blue Water):
* A commitment by developed nations to invest $30 billion over the next three years to help developing nations adapt to climate change and pursue clean energy development.
* A provisional commitment by developed nations to develop a long-term $100 billion global fund by 2020 to assist developing nations in responding to climate change and become part of the clean energy economic transition.
* A goal to pursue emissions reductions that are sufficient to keep the rise in global temperatures below 2 degrees Celsius.
* Pledges by nations to commit to concrete emissions reductions, though the specific levels of reduction were not set.
* A general goal to subject participating countries to international review of their progress under the accord.
* Diplomatic space for the United States and China to work together to solve climate change.
* A commitment to complete an assessment of the effectiveness of the accord in reducing emissions by the end of 2015.
As Ban Ky Moon says, it is a beginning. Something to be built upon.
I am not disappointed, as I had no expectations. Getting an agreement on something like this is a major challenge, and it was clear that confusion set in. There are a huge number of threads to be pulled together, environmental, economic, and political.
In confusion, it is best to start with what is certain.
In this case, it is the goal of less than 2*C rise.
To achieve that, we need a progressive reduction in CO2 emissions worldwide.
A carbon budget can be calculated.
We need to aid poor countries, who have done least to cause global warming, and will suffer most.
So, put that lot together, and we have Contraction and Convergence as the best fit.
How do we get agreement on this?
Simultaneous Policy is the way to get past the nightmare tangle of negotiations. Here, negotiating parties nail their colours to the mast. The mast that gets most colours attracts more support, and an agreement emerges.
Finally, how do we control carbon. Here the field is wide open, from Carbon Taxes, Cap and Share, Cap and Trade, and a bewildering variety of other schemes.
I am going to try to sort these out later. Right now I need some food.