Environment ministers set out EU position ahead of Doha Climate Conference
On 25 October 2012, the Environment Council agreed on the EU stance for major international climate talks coming up in Doha, Qatar, in late November.
The European Union is calling for balanced progress on all the elements of the package agreed at the 2011 Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in Durban, South Africa.
The Durban package includes three negotiating tracks:
1. Durban Platform for Enhanced Action
The Durban Platform aims at finalising a new global post-2020 climate agreement by 2015 and raising the level of global mitigation ambition in the period up to 2020. The EU position stresses the need to make significant progress on both work streams.
2. Kyoto Protocol
The objective of the Kyoto track is to adopt a second Kyoto commitment period starting on 1 January 2013, given that the first commitment period expires at the end of 2012.
The EU calls for the second commitment period to start in 2013 and end in 2020, when the new global legally-binding agreement is to enter into effect.
3. UNFCCC Convention
The Convention track involves all 195 Parties to the UNFCCC, including those countries which have not ratified Kyoto, and addresses the implementation of the Convention. The EU is pressing for resolution of the outstanding issues in order to close the Convention track with meaningful outcomes on, inter alia, a new market-based mechanism and accounting.
The EU has long been at the forefront of international climate efforts. For instance, it is currently implementing its unilateral commitment to cut its emissions by at least 20% of 1990 levels by 2020.
The talks in Doha - the 18th Conference of the Parties to UNFCCC and the 8th session of the Meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol - will run from 26 November to 7 December 2012.