The goals of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) are to stabilize the amount of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere at a level that prevents dangerous man-made climate changes, and in a way that gives ecosystems the opportunity to adapt naturally. Since the UN Summit in Rio de Janeiro in 1992, 193 countries have ratified this convention.
Each year, the ratifying countries meet to discuss how the convention’s goals can be implemented in practice. This year, the 15th United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP15) will be hosted by Copenhagen from the 7th to the 18th of December, 2009.
Leading up to the Copenhagen talks, the Liu Institute and its faculty members have been involved in a series of events aiming to inform, highlight, debate and discuss the challenges and opportunities that world leaders face in the task of agreeing on an ambitious, global agreement that meets the challenge set by science. In this document, you will find a selection of videos, presentations, audio files and articles from these events, as well as other ongoing research projects at the Liu Institute for Global Issues.
Can Copenhagen deliver climate stabilization without Vienna? Lecture, November 3, 2009
Hadi Dowlatabadi, Canada Research Chair, Professor of Applied Mathematics and Global Change, IRES & Liu Institute for Global Issues
The targets and mechanisms for climate mitigation after 2012 will be agreed to in Copenhagen this December. If these are to stabilize the climate they need to achieve comprehensive and far-reaching GHG reductions. Climate science, technological knowhow and global socio-economic conditions are far different today than in the lead-up to the Kyoto Accord. Will Copenhagen need Vienna (the HQ of OPEC) to achieve climate stabilization?
Audio [MP3, 56MB, 60mins], Liu Institute on iTunes U
Global Climate Change and the Copenhagen Negotiations: Why is it so difficult to reach agreement? A panel discussion, November 27, 2009.
Karin Mickelson, Associate Professor, Faculty of Law
The science of climate change
Simon Donner, Assistant Professor, Climatology (Geography)
Climate change policy from a developing country perspective
Milind Kandlikar, Associate Professor, Liu Institute for Global Issues
Climate change policy from a Canadian perspective
Kathryn Harrison, Associate Dean, Faculty of Arts, Professor, Political Science
What can Canada do about climate change?
Nic Rivers, Research Associate, Energy and Materials Research Group (Simon Fraser University)
The Private Life of Environmental Treatie, Article in the American Journal of International Law, Vol. 103, p. 510, 2009
Natasha Affolder, Faculty Fellow, Liu Institute for Global Issues and Assistant Professor, Law
In this essay, Professor Affolder shows how, in the case of the World Heritage Convention, certain mining and oil and gas corporations are committing to comply with “no-go” standards, even where states are unable or unwilling to enforce these standards. This research sheds new light on the influence that environmental treaties have beyond the state. The actions of political leaders (especially the more photogenic ones) tend to be highlighted in news coverage of environmental negotiations such as the upcoming United Nations Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen. But non-state actors are extremely active in shaping environmental treaty regimes, including setting the agenda of a post-2012 regime to address climate change.
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