March 02, 2010

By Jennifer Cassel

On March 8 and 9, 2010, respectively, India and China submitted letters to the executive secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (“UNFCCC”) indicating their support for the “Copenhagen Accord,” reached in December 2009 at the 15th Annual Conference of the Parties to the UNFCCC in Denmark. In its letter, India, represented by joint secretary of the Ministry of Environment and Forests, Rajani Ranjan Rashmi, states that India may be listed in the introductory text of the agreement - the “chapeau” - with the caveat that India understands the accord to be “a political document” which is not legally binding, but rather which “could have value if the areas of convergence reflected in the Accord are used to help the Parties reach agreed outcomes under the UN multilateral negotiations….” In Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao’s letters, one of which was originally sent to U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and the other to the Prime Minister of Denmark, China states that it “highly commends and supports the Copenhagen Accord” and reaffirms that China will “take active steps to meet the targets we have set out for our voluntary domestic actions….”

The letter from India is available at 

The letter from China is available at