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For the US alone, the impact of climate change is $60 billion annually at 1990 prices from 1990 to 2025 in terms of effects on agriculture, forest, specie extinctions, sea-level rise, morbidity, loss of human lives, migration, hurricane, and pollution (Encyclopedia of Earth, 2008). Many of the US states are expected to have damages from climate change at US$ 1 billion each (Science Daily 2008).
In Europe, the European Environment Agency (2004, p. 70) has determined that economic losses from weather disturbances increased from US$ 5 billion to US$11 yearly during 20 years prior to its 2004 report. The European Environment Agency estimate did not include several things but the report is highly indicative of the damage that climate change would make on Europe. The cost or impact to developing countries is anticipated to be higher as the changing climate raise sea levels and warm the globe. A two degrees centigrade of global warming can have a yearly cost of 3 percent of the world’s gross domestic product (Tol 2002, p. 47).1
The 15th Conference of Parties 15 or COP 15 is a conference of 187 countries in Copenhagen (Denmark) mandated to come up with binding agreements among countries on climate change mitigation and adaptation measures. The World Bank acknowledged that if mitigation measures are not adopted, global warming could be 5 degrees centigrade by the end of the century (World Bank 2010, p. 1). This paper assesses the COP 15 of Copenhagen and identifies the lessons with regard to the ability of international environmental conference processes to develop collectively beneficial agreements.
Sampaio et al. (2009, p. 6-9) summarizes the results of the Conferences of Parties (COP) prior to COP 15 and is the main source of this paper on earlier COPs. COP 1 held 1995 in Berlin agreed that nations should take action to curb greenhouse emissions and
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