Kyoto Protocol

Climate Policy at the Turn of the Century: The Death of “Plan A”

The original plan involved top-down global and US emission limits. They never happened.

When the campaign to cut carbon emissions began in the last decade of the 20th Century, there seemed to be a clear path forward. International negotiations would begin with a framework convention, followed by a later global agreement capping carbon emissions. Within the US, Congress would enact legislation cutting carbon emissions. By the end of …


Guest Contributor Sharaban Tahura Zaman: COP26 outcome on Carbon Markets: Takeaways for the Global South

SEC Armadillo, Glasgow

Where is the Global South heading with carbon market mechanisms in the coming decade?

As a government delegate, I have been involved in the UN climate negotiation process since 2017 to uphold Bangladesh’s and the Least Developed Countries (LDC) Group’s position. After an unsuccessful COP in Madrid (2019), as a Bangladeshi citizen (a country often referred to as “ground zero” for its climate vulnerability) I had to wait another …


The Durban Outcome: End of CBDR?

I wasn’t in Durban for the last days of wrangling, so I missed some late nights, dramatic speeches, and unexpected alliances. ClimateWire has the best account I’ve seen of the last-minute drama (sub. req’d.: “How a Belligerent, Sleep-Deprived Crowd in Durban Arrived at Consensus”).  Highlights include a ministerial-level “huddle to save the planet”; invocations of …


4 degrees warming here we come!

With the Durban COP17 negotiations concluded, there seem to be two lines of thought in the environmental community: Wow, that was better than expected. Our climate is really screwed. In this case, I think both (1) and (2) can be simultaneously true.  For some summaries of what went down at Durban, check out CleanTechnica, Climate …


What Happened in Durban?

The outcome in Durban seems to be better than expected, although admittedly that’s partly because expectations were low.  From the official press release: In Durban, governments decided to adopt a universal legal agreement on climate change as soon as possible, but not later than 2015. Work will begin on this immediately under a new group …


The “African COP”

Some of the expectations for this year’s Conference of Parties of the international climate treaty, the UNFCCC, related to its host country, South Africa. Many had hoped that the COP’s location in Africa this year would help to highlight the serious issue of climate change impacts in developing countries, often the least responsible for climate …


Looking Ahead to Durban

Unlike the Copenhagen climate conference which had enormous publicity and great expectations, the Durban conference next month is coming up very quietly.  Yet, given the 2012 terminus of the Kyoto Protocol, it’s a very important event.  Some degree of progress at Durban is important to keep the UNFCC process alive; otherwise, the action is likely …