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Pre-COP18 Briefing: Damian Ryan on what's at stake and Doha's possible outcomes

16 November 2012
Pre-COP18 Briefing: Damian Ryan on what's at stake and Doha's possible outcomes

COP18 takes place in Doha, Qatar, from November 26 to December 7, 2012. As part of our involvement in COP18, Damian Ryan our Senior Policy Manager, will be providing news and analysis, as well as live tweeting from Doha. This Pre-COP18 Briefing marks the start of his coverage.

The Climate Group’s newly published pre-COP18 briefing paper contains a wealth of information and is essential reading for anyone that wants to follow what’s going on at Summit. It includes analysis on developments since the last COP at Durban, key areas of negotiations at Doha and estimates on the potential outcome of the Summit.

Damian writes:

The basic objective of this year’s UN climate conference (COP181) is to close two existing negotiating tracks, and consolidate talks on a new global climate treaty under the ‘Durban Platform’ process which was launched at last year’s COP17.

The Summit will occur against the backdrop of an important milestone in the history of the global climate regime, namely the end of Kyoto Protocol’s first five year commitment period on December 31.

Securing a final agreement for the immediate launch of a second commitment period - from 1 January 2013 - and concluding talks in this regard, will be a defining feature of the meeting.

In parallel, agreement to terminate the existing ‘Convention track’ negotiations on so-called ‘Long-term Cooperative Action’, will form a second critical area of negotiation at this year’s conference. A satisfactory conclusion (or otherwise) to these two processes, will determine the degree of progress made under the new Durban Platform process.

Doha is expected to be a lower-key meeting than its predecessors in Cancun and Durban, especially in terms of public and media interest. But although no new initiatives or processes will be launched, much remains at stake.

A patchwork of interconnected and finely balanced issues has created a negotiating house of cards for Parties to manage.

Enlightened diplomatic choreography will therefore be essential for closing the existing negotiating tracks and for building faith and momentum in the new Durban Platform process from 2013.

Read the rest of the pre-COP18 briefing note, which looks at these key issues and offers observations on some of the factors likely to influence negotiations in Doha, by  downloading it now.


Damian Ryan will also be writing news and analysis and live-tweeting throughout COP18, and providing a more in-depth post-COP Briefing after the events. Keep up to date on our website and by following him on Twitter during COP18. 

In the run up to and during Doha we will also be posting a series of articles featuring analysis from our teams in the US, China, Europe, India and Australia on their nations' COP negotiating positions.

Read our pre-COP18 briefing paper now.

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