The 15th Conference of the Parties to the UNFCCC

"We do not have another year to deliberate. Nature does not negotiate."

- Ban Ki-moon, Secretary-General of the UN, addressing the delegates on December 15. 
Copenhagen, Denmark: Dec 7-18, 2009

What Happened in Copenhagen

The "Copenhagen Accord" has failed to create a legally binding framework for nations to address climate change, and has not properly addressed the key issues of deforestation and adaptation, but it does provide hope for the future. Read full 12/19 press release: Copenhagen - A Glimmer of Hope.

Why COP15 Matters

The 15th U.N. Climate Change Conference was a crucial opportunity for 194 countries to reach an ambitious and fair global agreement that addressed climate change and its devastating consequences.

Conservation International (CI) is committed to achieving the most ambitious agreement possible – one that includes clearly defined commitments to slow greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, helps communities and habitats adapt to the effects of climate change, fosters the development and transfer of technologies and establishes immediate and adequate financing for both mitigation and adaptation.

CI at Copenhagen

For 23 years, CI has worked with governments, communities and the private sector to ensure that local people benefit from the protection of nature and the services it provides.

LEARN MORE: CI Climate Change Security Strategy (PDF - 1 MB)

Our pioneering strategies have resulted in avoiding the emission of millions of tons of GHGs while preserving and maintaining 650,000 square kilometers (more than 400,000 square miles) of tropical forests that store carbon, regulate climate and provide a myriad of other services to humanity.

Now, heeding the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) call for action, CI is working to advance initiatives that integrate human development and biodiversity conservation into sound, sustainable climate change mitigation and adaptation solutions. CI demonstrates the importance of maintaining natural systems to address climate change, and works to ensure that forested regions and local communities are fairly compensated for the global benefits their standing forests and other ecosystems provide.

Without an agreement that includes aggressive emission reduction targets, a mechanism to protect carbon-sequestering ecosystems and immediate and significant funding to implement mitigation and adaptation activities, our landscapes and livelihoods face the potential for irreversible harm.

CI's Agenda

Specific goals include:

  • Support for aggressive science-based emission reduction targets that will stabilize GHG concentrations at no more than 350 parts per million (ppm) in the atmosphere.

    See Emission Reduction Targets Policy Position (PDF - 398 KB)

  • Recognition of the role of forests and natural ecosystems in mitigating climate change.

  • Inclusion of REDD+ (Reduced Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation "plus" conservation) with appropriate safeguards and immediate financing in the international agreement, with priority for protection of natural forests.

    See REDD+ factsheets developed in collaboration with partner organizations (available in English, Spanish, Portuguese, French and Japanese).
    See REDD+ standards factsheet (PDF - 575 KB) developed by the Climate, Community and Biodiversity Alliance (CCBA).

  • Allocation of additional and adequate funds for developing countries to adapt to climate change, including support for ecosystem- and community-based adaptation.

    See Climate Change Adaptation Policy Position (PDF - 662 KB).
    Other Climate Change Adaption documents:

  • Assurance of the full and effective participation, and just compensation, of indigenous peoples and local communities in accordance with their right to free, prior and informed consent.

VIDEO: The Forest Connection

Joint Climate Policy Positions

The following factsheets were developed in collaboration with partner organizations (the Amazon Research Institute (IPAM), Environmental Defense Fund, the Nature Conservancy, and Woods Hole Research Center):

Joint analysis of REDD+ negotiating text (PDF - 145 KB)


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Features & Media

DELEGATION: CI attendees and schedule of events
CI EXPERTS: List of attendees available for interview
QUOTES: Key points from CI and Partners

COP15 News

PRESS RELEASE: 12/19/09 - Copenhagen - A Glimmer of Hope
PRESS RELEASE: 12/17/09 - Conservation International’s Reaction: Developed World’s Pledge for Forest Protection Is Not Nearly Enough
FEATURE: Setting the Standard by Andrea Wolfson
PRESS RELEASE: 12/11/09 - REDD+: How tackling climate change can be the biggest conservation opportunity in history
PRESS RELEASE: 12/09/09 - A New Global Social and Environmental Standard for REDD+ Programs

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Official COP15 Sites



DOWNLOAD: A COP15 guide for journalists - from IEED (PDF - 304 KB)
DOWNLOAD: Comparing Climate and Cost Impacts of Reference Levels for Reducing Emissions From Deforestation - from Environmental Research Letters (PDF - 900 KB)
DOWNLOAD: Climate Action Partnership Factsheet (Dec09, PDF - 303 KB)
DOWNLOAD: Connecting Biodiversity and Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation - from the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity (PDF - 952 KB)