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Is there a silver lining to the failure to strike a global climate deal? Print
Outcome and perspectives of the Copenhagen Conference
Brown Bag Seminar by Joëlle de Sépibus, NCCR Trade Regulation (Work Package 5: Trade and Climate Change).
28 January 2010, 12.15-13.45, Anna Nussbaum Auditorium, World Trade Institute, Berne, Switzerland


The original purpose of the Conference in Copenhagen (COP 15) had been to complete the negotiations on a new international agreement on climate change intended to enter into force in 2013 following the end of the Kyoto Agreement’s first commitment period. The negotiations finally ended with the so-called “Copenhagen Accord” which was merely “taken note of” by the COP due to the overt challenge of several of the 193 countries represented at the conference (i.e. Bolivia, Cuba, Nicaragua, Sudan and Venezuela). Following its release, President Obama characterised the new Accord as “an unprecedented breakthrough” whereas the Swedish EU Presidency called it “a disaster”.  The purpose of this talk is to discuss the main results of the Accord and to attempt to disentangle its consequences for the future international climate regime. Before turning to the substance of the Accord the speaker will set out the international legal framework within which these discussions took place and give some insight into the negotiations process which was launched by the Bali Action Plan in 2007 and ended in Copenhagen on Saturday 19th December 2009.

Biography of the Speaker

Joëlle de Sépibus is a postdoctoral researcher of the Swiss National Science Foundation working on legal aspects of the climate and energy policy of the European Union. She holds a Master of Law from the Faculty of Law in Bern, a Master of European Law from the College of Bruges and a Ph.D. in European Law from the University of Berne. She is admitted to the bars of Geneva and Zurich. She was an Associate Professor of European and International Law at the Faculty of Law, University of Fribourg, Switzerland and a Visiting Research Fellow at the Department of Law of the European University Institute and the Robert Schuman Centre of Florence, Italy. She has been practising Swiss and International Business Law in several law firms in Berne, Sarnen, Geneva and Zurich and worked as a 'stagiaire' for the Legal Service of the European Commission, Brussels.

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