The Doha Climate talks, the longest UN Climate summit to date after Durban, concluded offering a balanced “Doha Package” that includes extension of Kyoto Protocol (KP2), setting time table for the 2015 global climate change agreement and climate finance.
The agreements, described as “Doha Climate Gateway”, were largely a political decision rather than a ‘climate decision’. After much puffing, huffing and loss of sleep, there were only two options before the Parties — either to go for a weak text or risk the collapse of the talks — , and they went for the latter. Thanks to the negotiating skills of the Presidency.
“Doha has opened up a new gateway to bigger ambition and to greater action — the Doha Climate Gateway. Qatar is proud to have been able to bring governments here to achieve this historic task. I thank all governments and ministers for their work to achieve this success. Now governments must move quickly through the Doha Climate Gateway to push forward with the solutions to climate change”, said COP18 President H E Abdullah bin Hamad Al Attiyah.
The Executive Secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), Christiana Figueres, called on countries to swiftly implement what has been agreed in Doha so that the world can stay below the internationally agreed maximum two degrees Celsius temperature rise.
“I congratulate the Qatar Presidency for managing a complex and challenging conference. Now, there is much work to do. Doha is another step in the right direction, but we still have a long road ahead….The UN Climate Change negotiations must now focus on the concrete ways and means to accelerate action and ambition. The world has the money and technology to stay below two degrees. After Doha, it is a matter of scale, speed, determination and sticking to the time table”, she said.
Governments have decided that the length of the second commitment period of KP will be eight years. Countries that are taking on further commitments under the Kyoto Protocol have agreed to review their emission reduction commitments under the KP have agreed to review their emission reduction commitments at the latest by 2014, with a view to increasing their respective levels of ambition.
$6bn concrete pledges made at Doha COP
On the Climate Change Agreement, Governments have agreed to speedily work toward a universal agreement covering all countries form 2020, to be adopted by 2015, and to find ways to scale up efforts before 2020.
Governments have also agreed to submit to the UN Climate Change Secretariat by March1, 2013. Doha endorsed the selection of the Republic of Korea as the location of the Green Climate Fund.
The Fund is expected to start its work in Sondgo in the second half of 2013, meaning it can launch activities in 2014.
On long term finance developed countries have reiterated their commitment to deliver on promises to mobilize $100bn both for adaptation and mitigation by 2020. Germany, the UK, France, Denmark, Sweden and the EU Commission announced concrete finance pledges in Doha for the period up to 2015, totaling an estimated $6bn.
In Doha, governments also successfully concluded work under the Convention that began in Bali in 2007 and ensured that remaining elements off this work will be continued under the UN Climate Change process.
There were lot of confusions in the halls. No one was aware who was supporting whom, until the closing plenary.
The closing plenary witnessed strong statement by countries like Russia. The least developed countries said a number of key elements were missing in Doha.
As expected, Civil Society said a firm “No” to Doha. “You call the text Doha Gateway, it’s a gateway to four degrees and climate injustice, we will not be complacent with this text, we reject this text”, said the representative of civil society. “We will name and shame you, our only hope is to mobilize a powerful justice movement,” he said.
Influential Climate Action Network (CAN) considered the COP had failed, by not delivering increased cuts to carbon pollution, nor providing any credible pathway to $100bn finance.
Doha summit formally announced the next UN Climate Change Confrence-COP19/CMP9-will take place in Warsaw, Poland, at the end of 2013