The COP 15 conference opens today in Copenhagen, Denmark. The choice of a Scandinavian capital in December is in some ways unfortunate since it’s bound to give rise to some scenario in which it’s very cold one day and this “proves” to Matt Drudge that climate change is fake. But in other respects it’s a great choice as Denmark is the world leader in combining prosperity, equality, efficiency, and clean energy that should offer a model of sustainable growth. Read my extensive Denmark-blogging to learn more.
Beyond that, a quick point of trivia. A lot of people seem to think that the “COP” in “COP 15” stands for “Copenhagen,” which is where it’s all going down. Not so! For one think, in Danish the city’s name is “København” so it’d have to be the KØB 15 conference. The actual name derives from the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change by which the world’s governments agreed to negotiate and implement a series of international protocols to cope with climate change. Part of that framework convention is a regular series of meetings, formally “Conferences of the Parties of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change.” This is the fifteenth Conference of the Parties, hence COP 15.
CAP has prepared a useful Copenhagen 101 primer by Rebecca Lefton, Andrew Light, Kari Manlove, and Daniel J. Weiss for your reading pleasure and I also recommend the team’s “Myth vs. Reality on International Climate Change Negotiations” document.