December 17, 2012

The negotiators in Doha Climate Conference failed to deliver on the expectations of the most vulnerable communities across the globe. Representatives from almost 200 countries deliberated on how to curb carbon emission, providing finance for developing countries and set a mechanism to compensate developing countries to deal with 'loss and damage' due to climate change. But the two weeks long conference ended without any concrete decisions on any of the issues above and came up with a weak agreement to continue dialogue in the days to come.

COP 18 Doha Climate Change Conference
The conference also know n as the 'Conference  of the parties-COP' held from November 26 to December 8, 2012 of its kind after the global leaders ratified United Nations Framework Convention on Climate change (UNFCCC) in Earth Summit held in 1992. Twenty years after the
countries agreed to set out a framework for action aimed at stabilizing atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases (GHGs) to avoid "dangerous anthropogenic interference" with the climate system, the world leaders are yet to find the common agreement to realize that objectives.
with the science more clear on the impacts of human induced climate change and warnings that the planet is set be warmer by 4 to 6 degrees Celsius (reports from World Bank and others) by the end of the century, the negotiators in Doha were thought to be engaged in plucking out decisions that would be in the best interest of the people and the planet. However, the conference ended with low ambitions in terms of emission cuts by developed countries and funding required for the developing countries. the recent scientific reports suggest that the carbon emission must be cut to the scale of  25 to 40 per cent by 2020 and 50 per cent by 2050 below 1990 level to limit the global average temperature below 2 degree Celsius. moreover, of limiting temperature rise below 2 degree Celsius.
one important decisions reached in Doha was the adoption of second commitment period of Kyoto protocol (2013 to 2020) which follows immediately after the first commitment period ends in 2012. the Kyoto protocol is the only legally binding international agreement in which developed countries agree to cut the emissions. however, the elements of the protocol are weak as The United States is not a party to the protocol and the countries like Japan, Russia, Canada and New Zealand having pulled out of the second commitment period. Likewise, in developing countries deal with the loss and damage caused by climate change. The conference did little to mobilize finance required for developing countries. The Cancun conference 2010 had agreed to mobilize climate finance of US $ 100 billion per year by 2020 and fast start finance of US $ 30 billion would be provided in the period 2011-2012. the fast start commitment was met only in papers (with no clarity on the difference between the climate finance and conventional development aid) the Doha Conference could not decide on how the required financing for the period of 2012-2020 will be mobilized.

The Doha conference was an important milestone for Nepal. Nepal was handed over the responsibility of coordinating the group of Least Developed Countries in the UNFCCC negotiations for the year 2013-2014. Now, Nepal has ample opportunities and the challenges of advancing the agenda of LDCs apart from voicing its own agenda. Ldcs comprise of 48 countries which are very poor in economic terms. however, these countries are divergent in their interest and needs. So, Nepal needs to show a strong leadership to coordinate the LDCs and advancing LDCs as a strong negotiating block within the UNFCCC. Moreover, as in the last couple of years Nepal is championing mountain agenda which needs to be continued and may not be the interest of most of the LDCs. at a time, the developed countries are reluctant to play constructive and positive role to tackle climate change, how Nepal fares to be the leader of the LDCs will be interesting to see.
The positive aspect is the decision to continues the Kyoto protocol and the agreement of the EU, Australia, Norway, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Monaco, Croatia, and Iceland to engage in a second commitment period (Kyoto 2). This means that the only binding international agreement on the reduction of climate damaging greenhouse gas emissions that existed up to now will be extended to 2020. It is expected to transmit presumptuous the effort on adaptation, mitigation, finance, technology transfer and development, capacity-building and finance, including their gender dimensions.
as the developed countries seem to be undermining the UNFCCC process, there is no alternative for the governments of the developing countries / Least Developed countries to continue dialogue inside the UNFCCC process. The slow progress in the process, however calls for the increased voices and more public participation across the globe to push for the fear ambitious and legally binding climate treaty.

The 18th sessional of the conference of parties serving as the meeting of the parties to the Kyoto Protocol concluded on 8, December 2012 at the Qatar National Conventional Center in Doha Qatar. the conference was hosted by the government of Qatar and supported by the UNFCCC Secretariat

Overall Summary of COP 18

Final Decision 

(1) COP 18 opened in November 26 and ended in December 8,. It held in Doha, Qatar. Representative from almost 200 countries  participated in the conferences.

(2) Concluded working-level negotiations at the Ad-Hoc Working Group on the Durban Platform for Enhanced Action (ADP), the Ad-Hoc Working Group on Further Commitments for Annex I Parties under the Kyoto Protocol (AWG-KP), and the Ad-Hoc Working Group on Long-term Cooperative Action under Convention (AWG-LCA) as well as meetings at two subsidiary bodies, and further ministerial-level discussions at the High-Level Segment from December 5 through 7, the following COP and CMP decisions were adopted as the “Doha Climate Gateway”. The COP and CMP decisions on other issues were also adopted.
1.      (A) COP decisions including the ADP work plan
2.      (B) CMP decision concerning Amendments to the Kyoto Protocol
3.      (C) COP decision concerning the agreed outcome of the AWG-LCA
4.      (D) A series of COP decisions concerning climate finance
5.      (E) COP decision concerning loss and damage associated with climate change impacts
(3) Accordingly, the AWG-KP and the AWG-LCA concluded their works and terminated their activities while the arrangements for negotiations in the ADP from next year onwards were agreed (Cf. “3. Outcomes of the conferences” below). As a result, the Government of Japan has achieved its goal of sending a message that “basic arrangements for negotiations have been set up toward an agreement by 2015 on a new legal framework beyond 2020”.

The Doha COP 18 Decisions (Outcomes of the conferences)

1. the reluctance of developed countries to cut carbon emission sets gateway to warmer world.

2 .The second commitment period of the Kyoto protocol agree but its relevance in question as as countries like Russia, Canada, Japan, New Zealand pull out the protocol.

3. The 'Doha gateway package' "encourages" developed countries to provide increased financing but no concrete agreement on the  numbers.

4. International mechanism for 'loss and damage' to be set in the next year's conference.

5. A shared vision for long-term cooperative action, including a long-term global goal for emission reductions, to achieve the  ultimate objective of the Convention, in accordance with the provisions and principles of the Convention, in particular the  principle of common but differentiated responsibilities and  respective capabilities, and taking into account social and  economic conditions and other relevant factors

6. Enhanced national/international action on mitigation of  climate change

A. Measurable, reportable and verifiable nationally appropriate mitigation commitments or actions, including quantified emission limitation and reduction objectives, by all developed country Parties,  while ensuring the comparability of efforts among them, taking into account differences in their national circumstances.

B. Nationally appropriate mitigation actions by developing country Parties in the context of sustainable development, supported and enabled by  technology, financing and capacity-building, in a measurable, reportable and verifiable manner.

C. Policy approaches and positive incentives on issues relating to reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation in developing  countries; and the role of conservation, sustainable management of  forests and enhancement of forest carbon stocks in developing countries.

D. Various approaches, including opportunities for using markets, to enhance the cost-effectiveness of, and to promote, mitigation actions, bearing in mind different circumstances of developed and developing countries

E. Economic and social consequences of response measures

7. Enhanced action on adaptation

8. Enhanced action on technology development and transfer to support action on mitigation and adaptation

9. Enhanced action on the provision of financial resources and  investment to support action on mitigation and adaptation and technology cooperation

10. Enhanced action on capacity-building

11. Review: further definition of its scope and development of its modalities

12.  The coming COP 19 will be held in Warsaw, Poland.

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