Main Outcomes of COP 18



The Doha Climate Change Conference, the 18th Conference of Parties (COP 18) of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, held at the end of 2012 resulted in the “Doha Climate Gateway” decisions. The main outcomes were: 

  • A second commitment period for the Kyoto Protocol. However, fewer countries are participating, and they have only agreed to reduce their overall emissions by at least 18% below 1990 levels in the eight year period (2013-2020). Participating countries represent less than 15% of global greenhouse gas emissions, and the emissions reduction commitments are insufficient to keep global warming below the 2C limit; 
  • Agreement to consider the creation of an international mechanism for loss and damage from extreme weather and slow onset climate impacts in developing countries; 
  • The need for a plan for long-term finance was reiterated. However, no firm commitments on scaling up finance towards the agreed US$ 100 billion a year were forthcoming. Climate finance pledges amounting to approximately US$ 10 billion were made by some European countries; 
  • Developed countries were urged to increase the ambition of their emission reduction targets and a work programme will be established to clarify pledges. 

During COP 18, progress on Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+) was limited as a disagreement on emissions verification processes resulted in a stalemate. Papua New Guinea promoted a “REDD Committee” to house future REDD talks, the aim being to create a standardised REDD product within the UNFCCC. 
The Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technical Advice (SBSTA) drafted conclusions to be addressed in 2013. These include: 
  • Methodological guidance for national forest monitoring systems; 
  • The timing and frequency of summary information on how REDD+ safeguards will be addressed and respected; 
  • Drivers of deforestation and forest degradation; 
  • A work programme on results-based finance with the aim to scale up and improve the effectiveness of finance for REDD+ activities; 
  • Consideration of how non-market based approaches, such as joint mitigation and adaptation, could be developed. 

The SBSTA will continue to refine the REDD+ text under its remit in 2013, and it will also work on methodological issues related to non-carbon benefits and their incentivisation. The Subsidiary Body for Implementation will initiate a process to address issues of support for REDD+ activities.

7 January 2013

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