Dispatch on the Durban Deal
As I sat working Saturday evening 10:00EST (5AM Durban time), this e-mail came in over the YaleDurban listerv from Sébastien Jodin, Trudeau Scholar & SSHRC Fellow at FES.
I forwarded it around at the time, but was waiting for his approval to post. It provides a good recap of the Durban deal.
“COP-17 in Durban has just ended with the adoption of decisions under both the UNFCCC and the KP. Progress was made on a number of issues, with the main highlights being as follows:-an amendment to the Kyoto Protocol for a second commitment period for some states from 2013 to 2017, with many issues to be resolved on the transition between commitment periods;-the operationalisation of the green climate fund; and-the launch of an Ad Hoc Working Group on the Durban Platform for Enhanced Action, which will seek to adopt an agreement for long-term emissions reductions by 2015, to come into effect no later than 2020.The final debates surrounding the adoption of the decision on the AWG-DPEA raised an interesting legal issue. The first draft considered in the informal plenary identified the objective of the working group as the adoption of “a protocol, legal instrument or legal outcome at the twenty-first session of the Conference of the Parties.” The EU, supported by many other delegations, expressed its displeasure with the weakness implied in the term “legal outcome”. India was opposed to reopening the text, but suggested that a compromise was possible if language on equity could be strengthened in the text. After a few other states expressed their views on this debate, the South African COP-17 Presidency convened a 20 minute huddle, right on the negotiating floor, to work out a compromise. The eventual compromise language referred instead to “an agreed outcome with legal force.”The debate, and its outcome, confirms that parties in the UNFCCC regime remain committed to a rules-based system for addressing climate change, a positive sign for the future work that will need to be completed over the next few years to raise the level of ambition to avert dangerous climate change.The road to Doha, and to 2015, begins in a few weeks.”