November 14, 2012 - 8:30am
If successful, the Doha climate negotiations will streamline talks and focus governments on achieving a new legally binding agreement in 2015, The Climate Institute concludes in a policy brief released today
“Last year, governments agreed to negotiate a single, legally binding agreement by 2015 that will cover all major carbon pollution emitters,” said Erwin Jackson, Deputy CEO of The Climate Institute, who has tracked the climate talks since the early 1990s.
“Doha is an important moment. If negotiating tracks from Kyoto, Bali and Durban can be streamlined into one, the potential for friction can be reduced, trust built and focus put on the few short years to 2015,” he said. “Australia has helped this with its support for a second commitment period for Kyoto.”
Countries representing over 80 per cent of global emissions have committed to limit or reduce their pollution under UN agreements. Some are implementing policies to meet committed targets and drive investment in clean energy and low carbon solutions. Emissions trading schemes have been, or will soon be, enacted in Australia, the European Union, China, South Korea and New Zealand.
Taxes on carbon and/or coal, as well as renewable energy funds are in place in Japan, India and South Africa. Regulations on new power stations and vehicles are in place in the United States and Canada.
“The reality is that the old ‘treaty before action’ global climate diplomacy is being replaced by an ‘action and agreement’ approach,” said Jackson. “Domestic carbon laws are being implemented even as the final shape of an international treaty is in the process of being negotiated. These actions are critical confidence building measures as countries continue to make practical progress on detailed international agreement design.”
The brief - Doha Climate Summit: Time to focus global climate talks
- examines three scenarios of collapse, business as usual and focus. It also analyses the implications of recent rule changes and Australia’s dividend from the first Kyoto period.
“The international community will now focus on the credibility and flexibility of Australia’s new Kyoto target and how it uses a possible 110 million tonne emission bonus from beating its first Kyoto target and subsequent rule changes,” said Jackson.
“A credible and helpful minimum commitment from Australia can assist all governments to focus on the main game of an ambitious single global agreement by 2015.”
The Doha policy brief is being discussed in more detail during a teleconference briefing at 11 am today.
Jackson will also be in Doha during the talks, 26 November to 7 December, and available for interviews.
For more information
Kristina Stefanova | Communications Director, The Climate Institute | 02 8239 6299
To find all other related briefs, media releases, opinion pieces and video blogs visit the COP18 project page here. This page will be updated continually during the Summit.