November 28, 2012

Doha Briefs: Commitment Issues

Commitment has been one of the buzzwords at COP18, no doubt, and this is with regard to cutting down on carbon emissions. There have been calls to increase ambition towards committing to the reduction of carbon emissions, especially by Annex 1countries.

The Scenario

At the start of COP18, the good news was that the EU had already achieved its carbon emission targets it had set for the year 2020; that’s eight years ahead of schedule! The bad news is that the EU indicated that they were considering going for an eight-year lull before considering further measures to cut down on their carbon emissions. Australia caused a stir when it indicated that it was willing to cut down its carbon emissions, but this happened to be only one part of the story. The disappointment emanating from their pledge lay in the numbers: the plan was to cut down their carbon emissions to 0.5% below their 1990 level.  In climate change negotiation circles, that is what is known as ‘A Big Joke’!

The Chorus

As expected, there was uproar from developing countries and least developed countries – in concert with their affiliates - as these pledges contradicted the concept of increased ambition that was touted as the turning point of COP18.

Main Expectation

With this being the third day of COP18, there are bound to be many interesting developments in the next couple of days. But the target of most negotiators is to hammer out a second commitment period for the Kyoto Protocol that will take effect as from 1st January 2013.– the Kyoto Protocol’s first commitment period will run out on 31st December 2012.  Whether this will come to pass or not will be determined in a few days; so, the waiting continues…


1 comment :

  1. I still share same views since Copenhagen. In Durban, governments decided to adopt a universal legal agreement on climate change as soon as possible, but not later than 2015. Will Doha deliver? waiting kills!