More than 50 countries submit climate change plans under Copenhagen accord

More than 50 countries, including the US, China, and EU member states, submitted plans to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to the UN Framework on Climate Change (UNFCC) prior to a Jan. 31 deadline set by the non-binding Copenhagen Accord. Relative to 2005 levels, the US has pledged to reduce emissions to 17%, while China has targeted a 40 to 45 percent reduction per GDP unit. EU members pledged a 20% reduction below 1990 levels. The countries submitting plans to the UNFCC represent two-thirds of worldwide emissions. Critics of the Copenhagen Accord say it lacks the enforcement mechanisms needed to ensure compliance, and is unlikely to limit global temperature rise to the indicated levels. Another round of climate change talks are scheduled for December, with the hope being that a binding resolution can be developed from the pledges made under the current accord. (Jurst, Feb. 1)

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