Durban Climate Discussions (30-second version)

As you may or may not be aware, this week begins the international climate discussions in Durban, South Africa. So here is the uber-short “Cliff’s Notes” version:

The original climate change discussions were in Kyoto in 1997, wherein the Kyoto Protocol was signed. Under the Kyoto Protocol, countries committed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The US was not a signatory. The Kyoto Protocol agreement and its emissions reductions goals expire in 2012. Further conferences have been held in recent years to reach agreement on what should be done next. The last two were in Copenhagen and Cancun.  It has been argued that these are both without major developments, although progress was made at both. Under the Copenhagen Accord, countries set forth a series of non-legally-binding agreements.  The Cancun Agreements created emissions goals and action priorities (such as reducing deforestation and funding climate adaptation projects). Discussions in Durban are likewise expected to yield no major progress in policy, but will hopefully lay the groundwork for major agreements in upcoming conferences.

The major topics of the discussions in Durban are:

1.     The Future of the Kyoto Protocol – will it be extended? Amended? Are there enough willing players to continue this effort?
2.     Next Emissions Reductions Agreement – regardless of what happens with the Kyoto Protocol, an emissions reductions agreement must be met which includes all of the major players. This conference aims tol take preliminary steps towards developing such a policy.
3.     Details! -  Details remain to be hammered out regarding some of the Cancun Agreements. Primary among these are “MRV” (Monitoring, reporting, verification) of reductions and management of the specifics for climate adaptation funds.

That’s it in a nutshell, one of the smallest nutshells I could find. If you want to follow the talks, you can find info on them here http://conx.state.gov and here http://www.cop17-cmp7durban.com/ and here http://unfccc.int/meetings/durban_nov_2011/meeting/6245.php

No comments: