The 17th climate conference finally came to end on December 12th in Durban, South Africa. For more than 2 weeks the parties were struggling to break the deadlock over a common roadmap  to a legally-binding agreement.  At some point there were gloomy predictions that there would be no deal in Durban. The negotiations ran 2 days longer than scheduled but managed to deliver some results.

The main outcomes of the conference:

  • All parties will start negotiating a new globally binding agreement in 2012 (Durban Platform for Enhanced Action). The new pact should be decided by 2015 to come into force in 2020.
  • The Durban Platform for Enhanced Action would “develop a new protocol, another legal instrument or agreed outcome with legal force that will be applicable to all Parties to the UN climate convention”. What legal instruments will be used is still unclear.
  • The agreement on the Green Climate Fund that will facilitate  technology transfer towards developing countries has been reached. It is expected to channel up to $98 billion a year by 2020 to poorer nations. However, no decision has been made as to where the funding for this initiative should come from.  Some proposals to charge international shipping for the carbon emissions in order to raise some cash were fiercely rejected. It is also unclear where the Fund’s headquarters will be established.

Although the EU delegation has expressed its satisfaction over the results of the COP17, not all the parties are enthusiastic about the new agreement. India has already claimed it has signed the agreement reluctantly only to keep up with the “spirit of flexibility” shown by other countries.  The group of Small Island States say they expected more commitment from developed nations.


Link: Reuters