COP18 starts in Doha

Day one update

The Conference of Parties (COP) 18 have started at Doha in Qatar National Convention Centre (QNCC). UN Climate talks Executive Secretary Christiana Figueres said in her speech she highlighted that COP18 is important in terms of its unique geo-political location. This is the first ever COP in the Gulf Region and it is taking place in such time when the world is at an unequal stage. She expected that COP18 is a major event after the two Mega COPs in Kyoto and Bali; and eventually COP18 can build a platform for making “Bali Action Plan” into “Real Action”.

A host of issues need to be resolved by then, including how to spread the burden of emissions cuts between rich and poor countries. That’s unlikely to be decided in the two-week talks in the Qatari capital of Doha, where negotiators will focus on extending the Kyoto Protocol, an emissions deal for industrialized countries, and trying to raise billions of dollars to help developing countries adapt to a shifting climate. The goal of the U.N. talks is to keep the global temperature rise under 2 degrees C, compared to pre-industrial times.  

Most of the 1st day passed without much action, however there are issues critical for global climate change deal to happen, Doha has to resolve following issues:

  1. The Conference must finalise and adopt a meaningful and effective second commitment of the Kyoto Protocol.
  2. It must address outstanding issues under the Convention track, in accordance with the 2007 ‘Bali mandate’
  3. It must set the  negotiations under the Durban Plataform for Enhanced Action in a firm footing, paving the way for a new climate agreement by 2015

The rich-poor divide is also deepened by arguments to help developing countries convert to cleaner energy sources and adapt their infrastructure to rising sea levels and other effects of global warming. China and other developing countries want to maintain a clear division, saying climate change is mainly a legacy of Western industrialization and that their own emissions must be allowed to grow as their economies expand, lifting millions of people out of poverty.

That discord scuttled attempts to forge a climate deal in Copenhagen in 2009 and risks a relapse in Doha as talks begin on a new global deal that is supposed to be adopted in 2015 and implemented in 2020.

Categories: Climate justice, News