This year’s U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change conference, held in Doha, Qatar, ended late on Saturday night, with expected results. After a 48-hour marathon negotiating session—which unfortunately has become typical in these yearly meetings—three distinct negotiating streams produced three overlapping but independent agreements.
The negotiators ultimately decided to do the following:
The Kyoto Protocol was reauthorized for another eight years, though fewer countries signed on so it now only covers some 12 percent of global emissions.
The countries ended the negotiating track created in 2007 on “Long-term Cooperative Action,” which previously produced the Copenhagen Accords and the Cancun Agreements that drew up voluntary pollution-reduction commitments covering 80 percent of global emissions.
The new negotiating track on the “Durban Platform for Enhanced Action”—which was designed last year to produce by 2015 a new treaty that is applicable to all parties and covers 100 percent of global emissions—took its first steps toward achieving those goals.