COP18 - Doha 2012: Day 5, 6 & 7 of the Conference

by Reed Smith

[authors: Peter Zaman, Nicholas Rock, Pryderi Diebschlag]


The prospect of having nothing clearly agreed after a week of negotiations seemed to hang over proceedings on Friday 30 November 2012. However, as the sun set on Saturday 1 December 2012, the delegates’ motivation began to increase and the early hours of Sunday morning saw genuine progress made before the delegates enjoyed a break on Sunday 2 December 2012.

Definitions of terms used in this and our previous daily Doha conference reports can be found at the link in the left-hand margin.

The Doha Conference: Day Five and Six

Friday and Saturday both began with the usual array of contact group meetings and spin-off sessions, although the evenings were marked by informal round-up sessions at which the Chairs of each working group updated the parties on their progress to date. In plenary session the parties were encouraged to reflect on the progress, or lack thereof, during the past few days. The effects of this exercise are reflected in the generally productive outcomes from the SBI and SBSTA work streams which closed following Saturday’s session.


Once again, climate finance was the dominant topic of discussion, and a draft discussion paper was produced to the group that considered the implementation, mobilisation, tracking and scaling up of finance, assessment of needs and the development of an enabling environment. Discussions will continue of course, and the value of the paper must be tempered by the confirmation that it should not be seen as the basis for any decisions.


Initially the focus of discussion was on mitigation measures, both for developing and developed countries. As to developed countries, discussion was directed at clarifying the assumptions which underlie each country’s commitments. Norway, with the support of Australia, Canada and the U.S. amongst others, proposed a new work programme (running until 2014) to assess these assumptions and establish a common accounting framework and methodology to enable the valid comparison of achievements. The Environmental Integrity Group (“EIG”), comprised of Mexico, the Republic of Korea and Switzerland also proposed an additional work programme that would consider the assumptions which underlie aspects such as the market mechanisms and LULUCF. New Zealand took a pragmatic approach, noting that agreement on accounting principles would not occur in Doha. Nevertheless, a draft paper on these proposals will be produced with a view to driving forward agreement on this.

Mirroring the COP, finance was again on the agenda, with the G-77/China tabling a proposal which seeks to address the financial uncertainty between 2013 and 2020 by requiring a further commitment for Annex I countries to provide a further US $60 billion by 2015, with most of this flowing from public (rather than private) sources. The U.S., Canada, EU, Russian Federation and Japan have all opposed any requirement for additional funding, stating that targets are in place for 2020 and that discussion of this point is not required in the LCA working group.

In the round-up session, Chair Tayeb’s appraisal of the situation acknowledged the significant divergence between parties’ views and hinted that, as predicted, any measurable convergence of opinion should only be expected once the ministers for the respective countries arrive. Broadly speaking, the developed countries continue to argue for the closure of the LCA work stream (whether or not all elements of the Bali Action Plan have been performed), whilst developing countries would like to see it reach a conclusion on each issue under its mandate. Nevertheless, the parties do appear to have agreed that informal notes, prepared by the spin-off groups, would be helpful for clarifying those issues where agreement is not currently possible, allowing efforts to be channelled into more productive discussions.


A draft CMP decision was offered for discussion, covering aspects such as the duration of the second commitment period and eligibility for participation in the flexible mechanisms such as the CDM. Progress of substance on this paper should only be expected towards the end of the second week of the conference. Optimistically, Chair Diouf suggested that agreement may be possible by Wednesday.


There was a broad consensus that any new agreement in 2015 should continue the principles which underpin the Kyoto Protocol, especially transparency and accountability. Two voices raised notes of caution, with China arguing that developing countries should not be re-categorised as developed, and Bolivia again pointing out that climate change is only one of many priorities for less developed nations. Chair Mauskar described the working group discussions as positive, and in light of the on-going discussions, many parties supported preparation of a timetable for additional meetings, with multiple stakeholders, throughout 2013. A draft text for this should be presented and discussed on day 8 (3 December 2012).


With the end of its COP schedule in sight, the SBSTA announced at the close of business on Friday that they had concluded their discussions with regard to response measures, carbon capture and storage and hydrofluorocarbons. However, further discussion was required as to agriculture and methodological guidance for REDD+. Similarly, the SBI announced the conclusion of their work on adaptation measures, but that there is still work to be done on the Adaptation Fund and the NAMA registry (something that may be transferred to the AWG-LCA), while progress has essentially stalled as to technology transfer and national adaptation plans.

Despite these outstanding issues, and potentially as a sign of things to come, both work streams finally closed in the early hours of Sunday morning. The parties adopted numerous draft decisions which will be passed to the COP for consideration and further debate in the remaining days of the conference. Given their draft, non-binding, nature, these are not listed here and will be reported on more fully as and when they are considered by the COP/CMP.

The discussions as to Articles 3.14 and 2.3 of the Kyoto Protocol (relating to the impact of the implementation of response measures under the Convention), and decision 1/CP.10 (the Buenos Aires programme of work on adaptation and response measures) could not be completed, and will be picked up again at the next session of the SBI (subsequent to this Doha conference). In addition, the SBSTA was unable to complete its consultations with regard to HCF-22 and HFC-23, agriculture, and REDD+ (where in fact agreement was reached, albeit limited to an agreement to disagree).


At the end of the first week the delegates are beginning to find their feet. The battle lines have been drawn around the survival of the LCA work group, the second commitment period under the Kyoto Protocol and the levels of financing to be provided by developed countries.

Some progress has clearly been made in spin-off sessions and contact groups, with draft papers being passed to the COP for decisions in plenary, but many other matters have been set aside due to almost “irreconcilable differences”. Of those that have been passed to the COP, we await the arrival of the Ministers of the relevant delegations so that, hopefully, more substantial progress can be made.

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

© Reed Smith | Attorney Advertising

Written by:

Reed Smith

Reed Smith on:

Readers' Choice 2017
Reporters on Deadline

"My best business intelligence, in one easy email…"

Your first step to building a free, personalized, morning email brief covering pertinent authors and topics on JD Supra:
Sign up using*

Already signed up? Log in here

*By using the service, you signify your acceptance of JD Supra's Privacy Policy.
Custom Email Digest
Privacy Policy (Updated: October 8, 2015):

JD Supra provides users with access to its legal industry publishing services (the "Service") through its website (the "Website") as well as through other sources. Our policies with regard to data collection and use of personal information of users of the Service, regardless of the manner in which users access the Service, and visitors to the Website are set forth in this statement ("Policy"). By using the Service, you signify your acceptance of this Policy.

Information Collection and Use by JD Supra

JD Supra collects users' names, companies, titles, e-mail address and industry. JD Supra also tracks the pages that users visit, logs IP addresses and aggregates non-personally identifiable user data and browser type. This data is gathered using cookies and other technologies.

The information and data collected is used to authenticate users and to send notifications relating to the Service, including email alerts to which users have subscribed; to manage the Service and Website, to improve the Service and to customize the user's experience. This information is also provided to the authors of the content to give them insight into their readership and help them to improve their content, so that it is most useful for our users.

JD Supra does not sell, rent or otherwise provide your details to third parties, other than to the authors of the content on JD Supra.

If you prefer not to enable cookies, you may change your browser settings to disable cookies; however, please note that rejecting cookies while visiting the Website may result in certain parts of the Website not operating correctly or as efficiently as if cookies were allowed.

Email Choice/Opt-out

Users who opt in to receive emails may choose to no longer receive e-mail updates and newsletters by selecting the "opt-out of future email" option in the email they receive from JD Supra or in their JD Supra account management screen.


JD Supra takes reasonable precautions to insure that user information is kept private. We restrict access to user information to those individuals who reasonably need access to perform their job functions, such as our third party email service, customer service personnel and technical staff. However, please note that no method of transmitting or storing data is completely secure and we cannot guarantee the security of user information. Unauthorized entry or use, hardware or software failure, and other factors may compromise the security of user information at any time.

If you have reason to believe that your interaction with us is no longer secure, you must immediately notify us of the problem by contacting us at In the unlikely event that we believe that the security of your user information in our possession or control may have been compromised, we may seek to notify you of that development and, if so, will endeavor to do so as promptly as practicable under the circumstances.

Sharing and Disclosure of Information JD Supra Collects

Except as otherwise described in this privacy statement, JD Supra will not disclose personal information to any third party unless we believe that disclosure is necessary to: (1) comply with applicable laws; (2) respond to governmental inquiries or requests; (3) comply with valid legal process; (4) protect the rights, privacy, safety or property of JD Supra, users of the Service, Website visitors or the public; (5) permit us to pursue available remedies or limit the damages that we may sustain; and (6) enforce our Terms & Conditions of Use.

In the event there is a change in the corporate structure of JD Supra such as, but not limited to, merger, consolidation, sale, liquidation or transfer of substantial assets, JD Supra may, in its sole discretion, transfer, sell or assign information collected on and through the Service to one or more affiliated or unaffiliated third parties.

Links to Other Websites

This Website and the Service may contain links to other websites. The operator of such other websites may collect information about you, including through cookies or other technologies. If you are using the Service through the Website and link to another site, you will leave the Website and this Policy will not apply to your use of and activity on those other sites. We encourage you to read the legal notices posted on those sites, including their privacy policies. We shall have no responsibility or liability for your visitation to, and the data collection and use practices of, such other sites. This Policy applies solely to the information collected in connection with your use of this Website and does not apply to any practices conducted offline or in connection with any other websites.

Changes in Our Privacy Policy

We reserve the right to change this Policy at any time. Please refer to the date at the top of this page to determine when this Policy was last revised. Any changes to our privacy policy will become effective upon posting of the revised policy on the Website. By continuing to use the Service or Website following such changes, you will be deemed to have agreed to such changes. If you do not agree with the terms of this Policy, as it may be amended from time to time, in whole or part, please do not continue using the Service or the Website.

Contacting JD Supra

If you have any questions about this privacy statement, the practices of this site, your dealings with this Web site, or if you would like to change any of the information you have provided to us, please contact us at:

- hide
*With LinkedIn, you don't need to create a separate login to manage your free JD Supra account, and we can make suggestions based on your needs and interests. We will not post anything on LinkedIn in your name. Or, sign up using your email address.