Kyoto Protocol Negotiations
Kyoto Protocol negotiations are high level talks that concern the course of action after the first commitment period of the Kyoto Portocol expires in 2012. The goal is to maintain a reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.
They are generally part of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), but they have also been mandated by the adoption of the Bali Road Map.
The following is an outline of the post-kyoto protocol negotiations.
February 2007 - Washington Declaration
On February 16, 2007, in "Washington Declaration", the G8+5 group of leaders (heads of government from Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States as well as Brazil, China, India, Mexico and South Africa) agreed to an international cap-and-trade system that would apply to both industrialized nations and developing countries. The goal was to have the system ready and in place by 2009.
Leaders of the 33rd G8 summit
On June 7, 2007, the same leaders met once again at the 33rd G8 summit in the Northern German state of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern. It was there that the leaders issued a non-binding agreement that they would aim to lower emissions by half at minimal by the year 2050.
2007 UN General Assembly Plenary Debate
On July 31, 2007, the United Nations General Assembly opened its first-ever plenary session devoted solely to climate change. Approximately 100 nations spoke in the debate to discuss their supposedly climate related issues.
At the debate, Secretary-Gerneral Ban Ki-moon urged Member States to collaborate in climate efforts, calling for a "comprehensive agreement under the United nations Framework Convention on Climate Change process that tackles climate change on all fronts, including adaptation, mitigation, clean technologies, deforestation, and resource mobilization."
The General Assembly President Haya Rashed Al-Khalifa called for a similar deal to work together globally.
2007 Vienna Climate Change Talks and Agreement
On August 31, 2007, further climate change talks emerged under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).
A key feature of the talks was a United Nations report that showed how energy efficiency could supposedly bring significant cuts in emissions at low cost.
These talks set the stage for the United Nations Climate Change Conference that was held in Bali in December 2007.
2007 United Nations Climate Change Conference in Bali
The focus of the 2007 United Nations Climate Change Conference was formulating further climate change action.
Due to the meeting held in August in Vienna, government leaders new a plan needed to be established that would created "concrete steps for the negotiations" that would lead to an ultimate agreement by 2009.
Initial EU proposals called for global emissions to peak in 10 to 15 years and decline "well below half" of the 2000 level by 2050 for developing countries. It also called for developed countries to achieve emissions levels 20-40% below those of 1990 by the year 2020.
The United States strongly opposed these proposals. Others in opposition included, at times, Japan, Canada, Australia and Russia.
The resulting compromise called for general deep cuts in global emissions.
2009 United Nations Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen (COP-15)
Copenhagen was the center of climate change negotiations in 2009 as the UNCCC conference was held in December in Copenhagen, Denmark.
It was at this conference that the G8 leaders agreed to reduce carbon emissions by half by 2050; however, specific targets were not set because they did not agree on a base year.
However, some members of the climate council believed that action needed to be made quickly. For example, in an interview with chinadialogue.net, Tim Flannery, Professor at Macquaire University stated: “My personal view is that the future of humanity is at stake."
Despite not agreeing on a base year, delegates did approve a motion to "take note of the Copenhagen Accord of December 18, 2009". The motion was not unanimous, therefore not legally binding. Yet, the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon welcomed the United States supported climate motion, stating it was an "essential beginning."
The Copenhagen Accord recognises the scientific case for keeping temperature rises below 2°C, but does not include specific commitments for reduced emissions that would be necessary to achieve.
One part of the agreement pledges $30 billion to the developing world over the next three years, increasing to $100 billion per year by 2020, in effort to help poor countries adapt to climate change.
Earlier proposals aimed to limit temperature rises to 1.5°C and cut CO2 emissions by 80% by 2050. These were not approved.
An agreement was also reached that would set up a deal to reduce deforestation in exchange for monetary compensation from developed countries.