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Inside UN Climate Change Negotiations: The Copenhagen Conference


  • Radoslav S. Dimitrov


UN negotiations on climate change entail a fundamental transformation of the global economy and constitute the single most important process in world politics. This is an account of the 2009 Copenhagen summit from the perspective of a government delegate. The article offers a guide to global climate negotiations, tells the story of Copenhagen from behind closed doors, and assesses the current state of global climate governance. It outlines key policy issues under negotiation, the positions and policy preferences of key countries and coalitions, the outcomes of Copenhagen, and achievements and failures in climate negotiations to date. The Copenhagen Accord is a weak agreement designed to mask the political failure of the international community to create a global climate treaty. However, climate policy around the world is making considerable progress. While the UN negotiations process is deadlocked, multilevel climate governance is thriving. Copyright 2010 by The Policy Studies Organization.

Suggested Citation

  • Radoslav S. Dimitrov, 2010. "Inside UN Climate Change Negotiations: The Copenhagen Conference," Review of Policy Research, Policy Studies Organization, vol. 27(6), pages 795-821, November.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:revpol:v:27:y:2010:i:6:p:795-821

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    Cited by:

    1. Shannon K. Orr, 2016. "Institutional Control and Climate Change Activism at COP 21 in Paris," Global Environmental Politics, MIT Press, vol. 16(3), pages 23-30, August.
    2. Tobias Böhmelt & Carola Betzold, 2013. "The impact of environmental interest groups in international negotiations: Do ENGOs induce stronger environmental commitments?," International Environmental Agreements: Politics, Law and Economics, Springer, vol. 13(2), pages 127-151, May.
    3. René Audet, 2013. "Climate justice and bargaining coalitions: a discourse analysis," International Environmental Agreements: Politics, Law and Economics, Springer, vol. 13(3), pages 369-386, September.
    4. Wada, Kenichi & Sano, Fuminori & Akimoto, Keigo & Homma, Takashi, 2012. "Assessment of Copenhagen pledges with long-term implications," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 34(S3), pages 481-486.
    5. Valentine, Scott Victor, 2011. "Emerging symbiosis: Renewable energy and energy security," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 15(9), pages 4572-4578.
    6. Stefanie Bailer & Florian Weiler, 2015. "A political economy of positions in climate change negotiations: Economic, structural, domestic, and strategic explanations," The Review of International Organizations, Springer, vol. 10(1), pages 43-66, March.
    7. Stavros Afionis & Lindsay Stringer, 2014. "The environment as a strategic priority in the European Union–Brazil partnership: is the EU behaving as a normative power or soft imperialist?," International Environmental Agreements: Politics, Law and Economics, Springer, vol. 14(1), pages 47-64, March.
    8. Jiang, Xuemei & Zhu, Kunfu & Green, Christopher, 2015. "The energy efficiency advantage of foreign-invested enterprises in China and the role of structural differences," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 34(C), pages 225-235.

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