COMMONS

The Road to UNFCCC COP 18 and Beyond

The deadline for submissions was 16 April 2012

COP 17 in Durban was dominated by the following crucial issues: whether to extend or replace the Kyoto Protocol (which contained no commitments from developing countries); the management of the Green Climate Fund (to identify how developed countries will meet their long-term finance commitment of $100 billion per year by 2020); rules on REDD+ (UN policy aimed at reducing deforestation and forest degradation in developing countries); and gathering funds for adaptation programmes, including the Fast Start Finance package.

While some countries agreed to a second commitment period under the Kyoto Protocol, the negotiations focussed on a coalition of over 120 countries—including the US, India and China— behind the EU’s climate roadmap, which proposed that a framework with “legal force” should be completed by 2015 at the latest, entering into force no later than 2020. While there was agreement on how the Green Climate Fund should be managed, there was no agreement at Durban on how the money should be raised. A framework for REDD was agreed to ensure the rights of indigenous peoples and local communities, but there were no explicit guidelines. The UK announced that it had gathered over two-thirds of its $1.5 billion Fast Start Finance committed to at Copenhagen, as well as an additional financial package for Africa.

Terms of Reference

The Committee will investigate what needs to be agreed to at COP 18 in Doha, Qatar. It will also explore whether the UK should take a different approach towards international negotiations, including the pursuit of a fully articulated legally-binding framework through alternative institutions such as the G8, G20 or Major Economies Forum. The Committee invites written evidence from interested parties addressing some or all of the following:

  • what should be the UK and EU priorities for COP 18;
  • what are the key milestones that need to be achieved in order to deliver a new legally binding agreement by 2015;
  • what a legally binding global framework to reduce emissions should look like;
  • are the emissions reduction commitments  proposed sufficient to keep warming below 2 degrees;
  • will sufficient finance be forthcoming for the funds and programmes;
  • the development of effective REDD+ safeguards;
  • any other issues that should be taken into account by the UK and the EU at the COP 18 negotiations; and
  • whether the UK should pursue an agreement to reduce emissions through forums other than the UNFCCC?

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    • Reports and associated evidence – Reports of Committee inquires. This category may also include Special Reports where they are used by a Committee to bring matters relating to conduct of its business to the notice of the House.
    • Responses to Reports - Responses may be published as a Special Report, or as a Command Paper. They may also be appended to a Report should the Committee have substantial comments on the Response, in which case they can be found listed under Reports. 
    • Other oral and written evidence - Evidence taken by the Committee that has yet to or did not result in the publication of a Report. This includes transcripts of recent meetings.
    • Estimate Memoranda - An Estimate memorandum is an explanatory note that accompanies a government department’s estimate (a means by which a department seeks authority from Parliament for its spending plans).
    • Correspondence - Correspondence sent from or received by the Committee or its Chair.