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Monday, 14 January 2013

Doha: a time of transition, not a failing of political will

The outcome of the Doha Climate Summit disappointed observers and activists alike, but it was in fact another step towards creating the enabling conditions for civilisational change and moves to addressing global injustice, argues Bo Kjellén, senior research fellow at the Stockholm Environment Institute, and the former chief climate negotiator for Sweden.
It is clear that modest but real progress was made at COP18. The EU decision to accept a second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol allows for a continuation of the Kyoto provisions until 2020. There was no backsliding on the Durban Platform, and the conclusion of the Bali Action Plan will focus the Parties’ attention on a single track from now until 2015. Decisions were confirmed on mechanisms and institutions dealing with technology, adaptation, and financing. The road was cleared for serious negotiation on loss and damage, in particular for small island states. These Conventions are mostly process instruments: they contain only limited binding commitments, but are designed to help the Parties reach more substantive commitments.
Prospects for the Durban Platform are still uncertain, but the present transitional period should be used to explore the concepts of equity, fairness and justice in the North-South relationship and in view of the increasing heterogeneity of the Group of 77. At various events outside the negotiations in 2012, Parties were able to discuss these highly political concepts in a quieter and more constructive atmosphere. However, progress is far from guaranteed, and there is no doubt that the positions to be taken by Annex I countries on financing will have a decisive impact on the talks.

Source: Euractiv