Friday, 25 May 2012

Governments agree to amend Kyoto Protocol in Doha

The first big meeting on climate change since last year's COP17 meeting held in Durban, South Africa, has ended in Bonn with governments agreeing to amend the Kyoto Protocol (KP) in the Doha, Qatar COP18 later this year. The Durban meeting had extended the life of the KP.

The Doha climate talks will try to push for the second commitment period of either 5 or 8 years. The talks will also decide on precise emission reduction commitments of industrialised countries that have obligations under the KP.

By Mubatsi Asinja Habati

See press release below.

PRESS RELEASE:  Bonn UN Climate Change meeting delivers progress on key

(Bonn, 25 May 2012) – Meeting in Bonn for the first time after the historic
UN Climate Change Conference in Durban, governments made progress in
ensuring that this year's conference in Doha, at the end of 2012, can take
the next essential steps towards meeting the long-term challenge of climate

Progress was made notably in the areas of preparing for the amendment of
the Kyoto Protocol; on building the institutions and infrastructure that
can benefit the poor and most vulnerable in developing countries; and on
paving the way for a new global climate agreement.

"Work at this session has been productive. Countries can now press on to
ensure elements are in place to adopt the Doha amendment to the Kyoto
Protocol. I am pleased to say that the Bonn meeting produced more clarity
on the Protocols's technical and legal details and options to enable a
smooth transition between the two commitment periods of the protocol,"
United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Executive
Secretary Christiana Figueres said.

Decisions scheduled to be taken in Doha include whether the second
commitment period will be for 5 or 8 years and on the precise emission
reduction commitments of industrialised countries that have obligations
under the Protocol.

In terms of providing support to developing countries to adapt to climate
change and to build their own sustainable energy futures, the Bonn meeting
resulted in a raft of agreements relating to technology, finance and
capacity-building (see below for details), which are also set to be adopted
in Doha.

Meanwhile, the new ADP negotiation (the Ad Hoc Working Group on the Durban
Platform for Enhanced Action) was launched and its agenda agreed. The ADP
is tasked to adopt a new global climate agreement by 2015, to take effect
from 2020, and also to find ways to raise global ambition to act on climate
change before 2020.

"The agenda guarantees that attention is given both to the 2015 agreement,
as well as to efforts to raise ambition to curb greenhouse gases up to
2020. This is a very important component of the Durban Platform and a
response to what science is telling us on a repeated basis, namely that
current mitigation efforts are not sufficient," said Ms. Figueres.

The UN's top climate change official noted that this week, the
International Energy Agency (IEA) warned that the door to avoiding a
maximum 2 degrees Celsius global average temperature rise is about to
close. The IEA noted that greenhouse gas emissions have reached a record
high and would need to peak no later than 2017 for the world to have half a
chance of staying below the 2 degrees Celsius rise.

Ms. Figueres called on governments to continue intensive, informal work on
detailed substantive issues before the Doha meeting.

"Ministers can also take every opportunity with their governments and each
other to resolve the outstanding high-level political issues that will
deliver the next, successful step, in Doha" she said.

Key areas where progress was made on implementation:

Climate Technology Centre
Governments confirmed the ranking of three shortlisted hosts for the
Climate Technology Center (CTC), with a UNEP-led consortium leading. The
Climate Technology Centre, along with its associated Network, is the
implementing arm of the UNFCCC's Technology Mechanism established by the
Cancun Agreements in 2010. This means that the UN Climate Change
Secretariat can start work immediately to help establish the CTC.

Green Climate Fund
Progress was also made on the Green Climate Fund, envisioned as a major
global channel for long-term financial support to help developing countries
in the urgent task of building their own sustainable and climate-resilient
futures. During the Bonn meeting, most nominations to the Board of the
Green Climate Fund were received and those outstanding are expected soon.
Governments say they want a first Board meeting to go ahead at end
June/beginning July, which would allow for the Fund to become operational
in 2013.

Long-Term Finance
Regarding long-term Finance, there was strong endorsement of confidence in
the Co-Chairs in Bonn and support to go ahead with a work programme that
will deliver a clear report to governments meeting in Doha on the sources
of finance that need to ramp up to $100 billion by 2020.

In the field of adaptation, a draft decision text for Doha was agreed on
ways to implement National Adaptation Plans for least developed countries,
including linking funding and other support. In addition, governments
submitted nominations for the members of the Adaptation Committee. This
paves the way for the first meeting of this important committee, which is
tasked with better coordinating international adaptation efforts. In the
area of loss and damage, governments agreed to recognize the impact of slow
onset events, such as sea level rise and ocean acidification, and
acknowledged the importance of local communities.

The UN Climate Change Secretariat presented the prototype of a registry
that matches information on developing country actions to curb emissions
with industrialized country support. The prototype was well-received, and
the secretariat will now finalize a working prototype ready for Doha at the
end of the year

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