From December 7-20, the international community will gather in Copenhagen, Denmark for what is anticipated to be the most significant international meeting of 2009—the 15th Conference of the Parties (COP) to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change. The Copenhagen Climate Talks will mark the culmination of two years of intensive negotiations among the countries of the world on global efforts to address climate change. Discussions are expected to continue to find agreement on central issues such as: emission reduction targets, including by when they should be reached and by whom; market mechanisms that will be established to support efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions; how to prevent deforestation and support agricultural activities that help mitigate climate change; the means of facilitating adaptation actions; how technology will be developed and shared; and how these activities will be financed.

In the lead up to COP15, the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) has reported on the five negotiating sessions of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) previously held in 2009 through its Earth Negotiations Bulletin. As well, IISD’s John Drexhage has written a series of commentaries that provide analysis of the state of the climate change negotiations following the meetings in: Bonn, Germany in April and August; Bangkok, Thailand in September/October; and Barcelona, Spain in November.

During COP15, IISD’s Reporting Services team will, as always, provide daily coverage of the negotiations through the Earth Negotiations Bulletin and of the UNFCCC’s side events through ENB on the Side. The team will also provide coverage of the parallel conferencesDevelopment and Climate Days at COP15, Copenhagen Business Day, Forest Day 3, and Agriculture and Rural Development Day.

IISD also will be actively engaged in sharing its work by hosting or presenting at a variety of parallel and side events which include:

Thursday, December 10

  • Available credits for use from new sectors
    16:30 – 18:00: Crown Plaza Hotel, Meeting Room Mount Everest 2
    Peter Wooders will moderate this session organized by the International Emissions Trading Association as part of its series of side events. It will explore the growing potential for new markets under new sectors to deliver carbon reductions into the market, and the actual potential of these sectors to meet demand. Particular attention will be given to early opportunities for carbon offsets from sectoral approaches.

Friday, December 11

  • Development and Climate Days at COP15
    9:00 – 17:00: Koncerthuset, DR Byen
    In honour of the importance of COP15, this traditional event hosted by the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED), the Stockholm Environment Institute and IISD, has expanded to be a four-day event. The opening day of the conference will be hosted by IISD’s
    John Drexhage. To register for this event or to view the current agenda, please visit the Development and Climate Days web site hosted by IIED.
  • REDD [and/or] Development: Ensuring the integrity of greenhouse gas reductions and development benefits
    15:30 – 17:00: Koncerthuset, DR Byen
    Panellists at this IISD-hosted session of
    Development and Climate Days will discuss how reducing deforestation (REDD) can be structured to encourage development benefits without jeopardizing the integrity of emission reductions. Confirmed speakers include:
    • Dennis Garrity, Director General, ICRAF
    • Maryanne Grieg-Gran, Programme Director, Environmental Economics, IIED
    • Pham Minh Thoa, Deputy Director General, Department of Forestry, Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Vietnam
    • George Wamukoya, Climate Advisor, Common Market for East and Southern Africa.

The session will be moderated by IISD’s John Drexhage.

Sunday, December 13

  • Assessing REDD Options from a Country Perspective: Views and recommendations expressed at regional workshops with REDD negotiators and stakeholders in Africa and Asia
    9:30 – 17:00:
    Radisson BLU Falconer Hotel & Conference Center
    Forest Day 3, IISD’s Stefan Jungcurt and Vanessa Meadu with the Alternatives to Slash and Burn Partnership for the Tropical Forest Margins of the World Agroforestry Centre will host a poster session presenting the outcomes of two regional workshops with REDD negotiators, stakeholders and forest and land managers from Asian and African countries. The poster will present participants’ main conclusions and recommendations on reducing deforestation (REDD) options, including: scope of REDD+ and inclusion of conservation and other land uses; financing options and mechanisms; monitoring, reporting and verification; stakeholder involvement; and social and environmental benefits.

Monday, December 14

  • Moving to a Low-Carbon Development Pathway
    9:00 – 10:30: Koncerthuset, DR Byen
    In this session, moderated by IISD’s
    John Drexhage, the challenges and opportunities for developing countries to transition to a low-carbon development future will be explored. The session will examine how international initiatives such as the establishment of national appropriate mitigation actions, sector-based approaches to greenhouse gas reductions and REDD can contribute to this transition. The session will be held during the final day of Development and Climate Days at COP15.
  • Trade and Investment: Fostering or Frustrating Climate Goals?

9:00 to 13:00: Crown Plaza Hotel, Mount Everest 3 Room
This mini-symposium, hosted by IISD’s
David Runnalls and Aaron Cosbey, will include sessions on the following topics:

    • 9:10 – 10:00: Liberalization of Trade in Low-carbon Goods: The promise and the pitfalls
    • 10:00 – 11:00: Border Carbon Adjustment: Trade measures in pursuit of climate objectives
    • 11:00 – 12:00: Investment, Technology Transfer and Climate Change
    • 12:00 – 12:50: Intellectual Property Rights and Climate Change
    • 12:50 – 13:00: Wrap-up remarks.
  • This event is part of the International Emissions Trading Association’s side event series. The full agenda (PDF – 388 KB) for this mini-symposium, as well as information about IISD’s work in this area is provided on IISD’s trade and climate change web page.
  • Phasing out Fossil Fuel Subsidies: Moving from rhetoric to reform
    15:00 – 17:00: Crown Plaza Hotel, Mount Everest 3 Room
    The announcement by G-20 leaders in September 2009 that they had agreed to phase out subsidies to fossil fuels over the medium term creates new opportunities for reducing emissions of greenhouse gases, promoting investment in alternative energy, and encouraging the shift to cleaner and more efficient modes of production and consumption. The challenge now lies in implementation. The session will bring together speakers and observers from a range of G-20 governments, inter-governmental and non-governmental organizations as well as the private sector to focus on how the political commitment to phase out fossil-fuel subsidies can be translated into effective reform. Moderated by IISD’s
    Mark Halle, the event will build upon analysis and insight gained through IISD’s Global Subsidies Initiative’s work on fossil fuel subsidies.

Tuesday, December 15

  • High Level Public Debate on Climate Change and Security
    13:30 – 15:00
    Organized by the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, this session will explore issues raised in part through IISD’s work on
    climate change and security in the Middle East and Africa.

Wednesday, December 16

  • Addressing Clean Energy and Climate Change Action in North America: A coordinated approach
    18:15 to 19:30: Bella Centre
    IISD and the Pembina Institute will host a session to explore ways of strengthening North American collaboration on clean energy and climate change. Invited representatives will examine policy actions in the U.S., Canada and Mexico, and prospects for a coordinated approach to address climate change in North America.

Thursday, December 17

  • Competitiveness Impacts and Carbon Leakage: Assessing the evidence and the policy options
    10:00 – 11:30: Bella Centre
    This side event, hosted by the Danish Climate Consortium, highlights the critical role that economic instruments, markets and regulatory tools will play in efforts to address climate change. These instruments and tools include free allocation of allowances, the use of unilateral trade measures at the border (border carbon adjustment), and sectoral agreements. This session will look at the available instruments and assesses their challenges from a legal, administrative, environmental effectiveness, and development perspective. It will be moderated by the International Centre for Trade and Sustainable Development’s Ricardo Meléndez-Ortiz and IISD’s
    Mark Halle. Speakers include IISD’s Peter Wooders and Aaron Cosbey.

Friday, December 18

  • Science, Research and International Governance of Geoengineering
    9:00 – 10:30: Bella Centre
    Geoengineering is receiving increased attention as climate concerns mount. This event will review the science of geoengineering, highlighting that it is not an alternative to emission reductions; identify research needs and possible future utilization; and explore international governance implications. This event will be hosted by the Centre for International Governance Innovation in partnership with the Royal Society, International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis, Climate Response Fund, Stockholm Environment Institute and IISD.