doha | Centre for Science and Environment


Updates from Doha

Sunita Narain on the Doha outcome

It was a nail-biting end that came in a no-ball game. For the past 20 years, the world has been haggling about who will cut greenhouse gas emissions and how much. In the same 20 years, the science of climate change has become more certain. The world is beginning to witness what the future will look like – more extreme events like the typhoon Bopha and the tropical storm Sandy are expected to cripple life and livelihoods across the world. In fact, as the leader of the Philippine delegation emotionally pointed out, the world is running out of time -- his ocean nation has seen 17 killer typhoons in the past year.

Indrajit Bose, Doha

Two weeks of intense climate negotiations ended rather dramatically at Doha on December 8, 2012. The countries gathered made sure they achieved the minimum required to let Qatar claim the meeting was not an abject failure. The long-term cooperative action or LCA track was closed. A second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol was agreed upon. And, a plan of work was laid out for the post 2020 agreement under the Durban Platform. Doha, however, with these three decisions, failed to do more than give the world a fig leaf to hide the fact that the environmental imperative of ambitious and quick action to reduce emissions had not been met.

Indrajit Bose, Doha
 
December 8: 7.40PM
US does a Kyoto again. It rejects the idea of equity by refusing to associate itself to any new agreement that is under the Convention.  
 
December 8: 7.10PM  
Russia outrightly rejects proposal. G77 and China, BASIC groups support Doha outcome. Despite Russia's continued protests against the President's decision, President says "it was my sense that the decision reflects the will of party as a whole to resolve Doha". 
 
December 8: 6:58PM 
Russia challenges the gavelling and the US says it rejects certain parts of the decision.
 
December 8: 6:46PM
Doha gateway adopted. Resounding applause. All in a flash. No arguments. 
 
December 8: 6:40PM
Delegates leaving. Journalists leaving. Air of frustration around because no one has clarity on what's exactly happening at the moment. Looks like LCA will begin before KP. First, an informal to adopt package and then move to the COP.
 
December 8: 5:45PM 
Russia blocks adoption of KP amendment over AAUS. Groups huddle to arrive at a compromise. No wonder CMP session has not yet started.  
 
December 8: 5:10PM 
COP18 has experienced its share of arm-twisting tactics. Who will the AOSIS support? Who will LDCs side with? Then there are LMDCs, and several other groups in addition to the Umbrella group comprising a few developed countries. Where will compromise be struck? Or, has it, already? How come no objections were raised in the informal plenary? We'll find out.  
 
December 8: 4:50PM
KP about to begin. Plenary hall filled with people broken into groups of twos, threes, fives animatedly discussing what to expect. A common question seems to be whether Poland will block within EU on AAUs...
 
December 8: 2:50PM
Informal Plenary begins. No objections raised to the text in the informal plenary. On to CMP now to debate KP.  
 
December 8: 1:46PM
The buzz in the corridors: Plenary may not begin before 4pm. Too many Parties unhappy with the new text. Text might be reopened. 
 
December 8: 12.35PM
No news of plenary yet. Parties still engaged in closed-door discussions. This may be the lull before the storm. 
 
December 8: 11.11AM
Ninety minutes long over. Still no sign of informal plenary. Closed-door meetings happening among countries and groups.  
 
December 8: 8.25AM
COP President introduces new text. Gives 90 minutes to Parties to review text and meet again. 
 
December 8: 3.55AM
News in the corridor: US and other developed countries propose to junk all unresolved issues under the current LCA draft text. They have gone back to their stand of day one, junking the past 12 days of negotiations. This may derail Doha talks. Everyone shocked at this development. Plenary at 7.30AM
 
December 8: 2.40AM
Press and youth form a long chain and assemble along the corridors of the Qatar National Convention Centre. They shout: “If not now, when? If not us, who? If not here, where?” 
 
December 8: 2:30AM
Ministerial meetings in progress. BASIC doing a huddle. They fear that talks could collapse given issues stand unresolved. Loss and damage debate getting ugly with the US sticking to its stand that there can be no international mechanism for loss and damage. “It’s absolutely critical for AOSIS and LDCs that an international mechanism on loss and damage be established. But US is strictly opposed to it,” says Harjeet Singh of Action Aid International.
 
December 8: 12.21AM
India commended by observer organisations for taking a principled stand in the Doha climate talks. India has continued to show immense strength despite pressure.
 
December 7: 11.45PM
ADP draft text sent to the COP after a two-and-a-half hour heated debate between developed and developing countries. Umbrella group opposed reference to the Rio declaration in the drafts text. The reference now goes as brackets, to be taken up in the COP closing plenary. 

Draft texts made, remade and re-remade: No consensus in sight

COP President
We can see the contours of a balanced package. It is clearly within reach. I understand every party may not be fully satisfied with the outcome. But I'd like you to not see things in isolation. Please consider for overall balance.

Facilitators/Ministers/Co-chairs speak

COP President: "As of this moment, we have one more day. I urge parties to resolve outstanding issues

dohapb_1.jpg

India should walk out of the Doha negotiations if equity is not made a part of the deal, says Sunita Narain in Doha

Dec 5, 2012

Thank you chair,

We need to see and ambitious results under the Kyoto Protocol(KP) as well as LCA track to inspire increased global efforts in future. Currently, there is a crisis of confidence. Despite Cancun pledges and KP commitments, we are yet to reach there. Not that we do not have a framework for it, it exists. Unfortunately, we have not implemented it. The central problem is not therefore of enhancing ambition at the global level, but of implementing commitments as per agreed principles. Availability of technologies and financial resources iskey to these commitments as far as developing countries are concerned.

By: Indrajit Bose
Date: Dec 3, 2012

None of developing countries concerns reflect in the negotiating text, closure of LCA in Doha looks difficult

The second week of the Doha talks opened amid high drama as developing countries unanimously rejected the “draft text” prepared by the chairperson of the ad-hoc working group on long-term cooperative action (AWG-LCA). Such a draft text details the areas of convergence and divergence on all issues that are to be taken up for further deliberations by parties.

Read more

By: Arnab Pratim
Date: Dec 3, 2012

Developed countries shy away from promising more money to developing nations from next year till 2020 for mitigation and adaptation measures

Climate finance will be on the top of the minds of negotiators as the UN conference on climate change at Doha enters the second week on December 3. In the first seven days of the conference, the developed countries shied away from promising more money from next year until 2020 to developing countries to undertake mitigation and adaptation measures. The US $30 billion fast-start funding which started in 2010 ends this year and the next batch of funding, which is still under deliberation, begins only in 2020.

Read more

By: Indrajit Bose
Date: Dec 3, 2012

Successfully stalls attempts of developed countries’ move to bring agriculture under mitigation efforts

India fiercely defended its farmers’ interests as the first week of Doha climate talks continued up to the wee hours of Sunday, December 2. Taking a firm stand that agriculture was a clear out-of-bounds sector with respect to emissions reduction, India stalled all attempts of the developed world to further discuss the issue in the ongoing CoP 18. The developing world’s long-standing position has been that any discussion on agriculture must be held in the realm of adaptation, not mitigation. The developed world wants to introduce the element of mitigation in agriculture.

Read more

By: Arnab Pratim Dutta
Date: Dec 1, 2012

Least developed countries oppose developing countries

Developing countries on Friday managed to bury a proposal of the Least Developing Countries (LDCs) on agriculture. The proposal said that studies need to be carried out to ascertain the role of agriculture in global warming. This proposal, placed before a scientific advisory body of the United Nations Frame Work Convention of Climate Change (UNFCCC) in the ongoing annual climate change talks in Doha, not only showed the deep divisions that run within the developing countries collectively known as the G77+China but was also seen as an aberration to the stand of the developing world that agriculture is only a subject for adaptation and not mitigation.

Read More

By: Indrajit Bose
Date: Dec 1, 2012 

Qatar could ask ministers to short-circuit negotiations

At the end of the fifth day of the Doha climate talks on November 30, the president of the Conference of Parties (CoP) held an informal meeting of all parties “in the spirit of transparency” to take stock of how negotiations have progressed. The session happened around the time news spread that negotiations will go into closed-door mode—what are called green rooms—when ministers of more than 190 countries arrive early next week in Doha. Speculation was rife on November 30 night in the Qatar National Convention Centre that this move came with the tacit support of some developed countries.

Read More

By: Indrajit Bose
Date: Nov 29, 2012

US says no to equitable division of atmospheric space

The US made it clear it is not on the same page on equity as the developing nations. On day 3 of the ongoing Conference of Parties on climate change (COP18) in Doha, the deputy chief climate envoy of the US, Jonathan Pershing, told NGOs in an informal briefing session that it would be hard for him to go back to the Congress and sell the idea of equity as espoused by the developing countries.

Read more

By: Indrajit Bose
Date: Nov 28, 2012

Developing countries say the work plan can progress only if outstanding issues are resolved first

Talks are now in full swing at the climate meet at Doha in Qatar. The negotiations, which are happening under three different tracks—ad hoc working groups on Kyoto Protocol (AWG-KP), Long-Term Cooperative Action (AWG-LCA) and Durban Platform—have all been launched. And the differences between the negotiating countries, or Parties as they are called in the climate circuit, are out in the open in all the three tracks.

Read more

By: Arnab Pratim Dutta
Date: Nov 28, 2012

No progress on the Durban Platform to be allowed unless elements from long-term cooperative action incorporated in negotiating process, say developing nations

The developed countries want to junk elements close to the heart of the developing world and bury them in Doha. At the opening plenary of the LCA (Long-Term Cooperative Action) on the second day of Doha climate talks, the rich nations suggested that all elements on which there is no agreement be left out of the new negotiating process emanating from the Durban Platform. These include elements like transfer of patented technology, means of finance, global peaking, unilateral measures and the cornerstones of climate negotiations like equity and common but differentiated responsibility (CBDR).

Read more

By: Indrajit Bose
Date: Nov 27, 2012

No market benefits for developed countries that are not part of Kyoto Protocol, developing countries demand

Two issues dominated negotiations under the Kyoto Protocol track or ad hoc working group on Kyoto Protocol  (AWG-KP) on the second day of CoP 18 meeting in Doha, Qatar. One, on the second commitment period of Kyoto Protocol (KP 2), and two, the ambition levels with respect to emissions reduction targets of developed countries.

Read more

Equity and ADP: How equity should become an integral part of the ADP negotiation

Date and time: Wednesday, December 5, 2012; 4.45-6.15 PM

By: Arnab Pratim Dutta
Date: Nov 26, 2012

Ambitions on reducing carbon emissions levels missing at CoP 18, say developing countries

The swords and daggers are still not out. Going by previous experience of climate change conferences, the big fights are generally kept for the last week of the conference, ceremoniously also known as the high level segment. However, on the opening day of the 18th Conference of Parties (CoP18) in Doha, Qatar, parties reaffirmed their positions, on which each will try to consolidate its position over the next two weeks. Although Doha seems to be just another milestone in the setting-up process of a new treaty in 2015, based on the Durban Platform to be implemented from 2020, the coming two weeks will see confrontations, if not fisticuffs on numerous contentious issues that need to be settled before 2013. And in one of the several press conferences held on the first day, the United States, a party that has always shied away from taking on carbon emissions reduction, made this clear.

Read more

Closure of  long-term cooperative action, sought by the US and other developed countries that want to wriggle out of climate change mitigation commitments, expected to be a big issue at Doha

The last conference of the Parties that took place in Durban in 2011 has put climate negotiations at the crossroads again. The decisions taken at Cancun in 2010 supported a bottom-up approach wherein countries agreed to take on voluntary emissions reduction commitments that were not legally binding. 

Read more

Videos

COP 18 enforces equity and equitable right to the atmosphere, says Sunita Narain, Director General of CSE
Doha will decide architecture of future climate negotiations, says Chandra Bhushan, Deputy Director General of CSE

Contact us

Doha: Delhi (for Media)
Arnab Pratim Dutta Papia Samajdar
Email: arnab@cseindia.org Email: papia@cseindia.org
Phone: (974)-66865089 Phone: +91 9811906977
Souparno Banerjee  
Email: souparno@cseindia.org  
Phone: (974)-55382172  

Doha Diary

Wednesday, December 5, 2012
Xie Zhenhua, head of the Chinese delegation at CoP18, Doha said today that finance is at the core of the issue -- without finance, adaptation and mitigation activities in developing nations cannot happen. There is a good news — discussions with ministers of developed nations are leading to an assurance that new finance could be announced during Doha. Mr Zhenhua refused to take names, as he believes the owner of the good news should be the one to announce it.

Press Release

Wednesday, December 5, 2012
Press Release
CSE-MoEF Side Event at CoP 18 Doha
India should walk out of the Doha negotiations if equity is not made a part of the deal, says Sunita Narain in Doha

Presentation

  The imperative of equity for an effective climate agreement
By: Sunita Narain, director-general, CSE

Blogs

  US, Equity and the Elephants in the room
Sharing of the common atmospheric space has been at the core of discussions–the elephant in the room that we want to forget. It is what needs to be discussed, says Sunita Narain
 

Photo Gallery