The Copenhagen Climate Conference and its Copenhagen Accord have generally been billed by the press as having been a failure. I think this is a very unfortunate mischaracterisation. The conference was a failure only in not achieving binding commitments to reduce global greenhouse gas (GHG) emission levels sufficiently to meet the requirements identified by the some 3,000 leading global scientists of the UN International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) to avoid disastrous consequences – such as sea-level rise leading to massive migration, food disruption, water shortages, tropical disease migration, biodiversity destruction, etc. But the conference didn’t expect that this could occur in the midst of a global recession. The timing of these events was highly unfortunate. But a great deal was accomplished to lay a good foundation for a future agreement. The years of hard work by many international, national, municipal, industrial and academic experts resulted in some very significant results.
Richard L. Ottinger, Success or Failure?, 40 Envtl. Pol'y & L. 22 (2010), http://digitalcommons.pace.edu/lawfaculty/754/.