The following are the broad contours of the accord reached by the United States, China, India, Brazil, South Africa and several other countries at the U.N. climate talks — along with current elements in place earlier:
The deal does not commit any nation to emission cuts beyond a general acknowledgment that global temperatures should be held along the lines agreed to by leading nations in July. There are no overall emissions targets for rich countries.
The already agreed-upon emission cuts fall far short of action needed to avoid potentially dangerous effects of climate change. These cuts are to be made by 2020:
U.S.- a 17 per cent reduction from 2005 levels (or 3-4 per cent from 1990 levels).
China- a cut of 40 to 45 per cent below “business as usual,” that is, judged against 2005 figures for energy used versus economic output.
India- 20 to 25 per cent cut from 2005 levels.
European Union-20 per cent cut from 1990, and possibly 30 per cent.
Japan- 25 per cent cut from 1990.
Countries are to list actions taken to cut global warming pollution by specific amounts.
Method is agreed upon for verifying reductions.
Developed nations already covered by the 1997 Kyoto Protocol (the U.S. is not included) will have their emissions cuts monitored and will face possible sanctions if they fail to meet them.
Wealthy nations will raise $100 billion a year by 2020 to help poorer nations cope with the effects of climate change, such as droughts and floods. This is contingent on a broader agreement, including some kind of oversight to verify China’s emissions of greenhouse gases.
Short-term funding of roughly $30 billion over three years beginning in 2010 to help developing countries adapt to climate change and shift to clean energy.