The last conference of the Parties that took place in Durban in 2011 has put climate negotiations at the crossroads again. The decisions taken at Cancun in 2010 supported a bottom-up approach wherein countries agreed to take on voluntary emissions reduction commitments that were not legally binding. This, along with low expectations for the survival of the Kyoto Protocol (KP) post-2012 cast serious doubts on the continued role of United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the future of a top-down, multilateral approach in climate negotiations
The Durban meet put such doubts to rest—an agreement was reached on a second commitment period to the Kyoto Protocol (KP-2) and there was a decision to agree to a new framework that would bring all countries under its ambit by 2015. Durban re-instilled some faith in the process by carving out a delicate compromise between developed and developing countries in what came to be called the Durban deal. This means that the Doha meet is left with the tough job of binding all the cracks that the compromise package left for a later date. This includes a successful transition to a second commitment period, closure of the Ad Hoc Working Group on Long Term Cooperative Action (AWG-LCA) track, a decision on how incomplete issues under the track will be carried forward and the operationalisation of the Green Climate Fund. A total of seven different negotiating tracks will cover the different issues under consideration which is going to make it very challenging for negotiating Parties to arrive at multiple decisions within the limited time available.
Agenda for Doha | Down To Earth