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December 22nd, 2009
12:05 PM ET

Copenhagen's surprising gain for climate

Delegates arrive at the summit building in Copenhagen earlyer this month.

Delegates arrive at the summit building in Copenhagen earlyer this month.

Lisa Margonelli
Special to CNN

Two weeks ago, representatives from nearly 200 countries flew to Copenhagen to hammer out an agreement to limit the emissions that cause global warming.

Now that the carbon-heavy contrails of the diplomats' jets have cleared from Copenhagen's airspace, it's clear that while they failed to make history, the modest three-page unsigned Copenhagen Accord is a surprisingly futuristic document.

Personally engineered by the leaders of the next century's economic powerhouses - China, India, Brazil, South Africa and the United States - the accord suggests a new style of diplomacy, and (happily) a possible mainstreaming of environmental standards as conditions of trade rather than a boutique environmental issue. But we have a long way to go, and the United States needs to show more leadership.

In hindsight, the idea that nearly 200 countries could hold a diplomatic Olympics in a freezing northern city to create an agreement that would cause virtually everyone pain, but contain global warming to a certain number of degrees, was probably politically, scientifically and practically naive.

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Filed under: Environmental issues
soundoff (One Response)
  1. Dennis del Castillo

    Hi Anderson,
    I invite you to come to Iquitos, the biggest town of the Peruvian Amazon. Yes, the Amazon River starts right here, just five km from where I am weinting this mail. You do not imagine what beautiful is the rainforest, biodiversity, water of the Amazon River, and the most important, its people. We are just great.

    I am your fan, I watch you almost everyday on CNN, and I know that showing you what we are doing here to preserve the forest, regardless of COP 15 and Copenhagen Accords, the rest of the people around the world will take their own responsabilities in their communities. Best regrads, Dennis del Castillo

    December 22, 2009 at 5:09 pm |