Progress from Doha on tackling climate change

A series of articles by Smita Nakhooda for the Overseas Development Initiative, Amy Goodman for The Guardian, and Aljazeera News lay out the progress made at the 18th Conference of the Parties to the UNFCCC held from in Doha from the 26th November to the 8th December 2012. As Amy Goodman points out, “latest findings suggest that the goal of limiting global temperature rise to 2ºC may now be beyond reach, and that we may now be locked into a 4-6ºC temperature increase”. So what are global leaders doing to avoid ‘dangerous climate change’?

1)    The Kyoto Protocol will run for a second commitment period from 1st January 2013 to 31st December 2020. But only the EU and Australia are bound by commitments to reduce emissions, and emissions reductions, an average of 18% relative to 1990 levels by 2020, are ‘not particularly challenging’. Further to this, countries such as the US and Canada are unlikely to adopt these commitments anytime soon.

2)    For next year’s COP in Warsaw, developed nations must provide, “information on their strategies and approaches for mobilising scaled-up climate finance to $100bn per year by 2020.” For 2010-2012 developed country funding to developing countries’ climate plans was only $30 billion and the EU, US and Japan have not committed any funding for 2013-2019 plans. This leaves us wondering how the developed world will reach the $100 billion a year target in the short-term.

3)    Negotiations led by the Association of Small Island Developing States (AOSIS), Least Developed Countries and the African Group of Nations around institutional arrangements to address climate change-related loss and damage for developing countries resulted in an agreement to discuss implementation in Warsaw. Developed countries were resistant to language around compensation or of establishing separate funds.

4)    A new global pact to replace the Kyoto Protocol is planned for 2015. This will be binding across the globe.

5)    REDD+ will receive more discussion around results-based finance but little else.

6)    The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) will lead on establishing a technology centre and network to allow knowledge and technology transfer for the next 5 years.

With relation to agriculture, progress was also minimal. For more details on the Agriculture, Landscapes and Livelihoods Day 5 click here.

As Smita Nakhooda states, little institutional progress does not mean little progress overall and outside of the UNFCCC some governments are taking steps to mitigate and adapt to climate change. Whether this progress is enough is another matter.

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