The road to UNFCCC COP 18 and beyond

05 March 2012

Today the Energy and Climate Committee announce their new inquiry looking towards COP 18 and beyond.

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
  • whether the UK should pursue an agreement to reduce emissions through forums other than the UNFCCC?

The deadline for the submission of written evidence is Monday 16 April 2012.


Notes on submitting written evidence

Written evidence should be in Word or rich text format-please do not use PDF format-and sent by e-mail to The body of the e-mail must include a contact name, telephone number and postal address. The e-mail should also make clear who the submission is from. Hard copy submissions should be sent to: The Clerk, Energy and Climate Change Committee, 7 Millbank, London, SW1P 3JA. The deadline is Monday 16 April 2012. As a guideline submissions should be no longer than 3000 words. However, please contact the Committee staff if you wish to discuss this matter.

Submissions should be in the format of a self-contained memorandum. Paragraphs should be numbered for ease of reference, and the document should, if possible, include an executive summary.

Submissions should be original work, not previously published or circulated elsewhere. Once submitted, your submission becomes the property of the Committee and no public use should be made of it unless you have first obtained permission from the Clerk of the Committee. Please bear in mind that Committees are not able to investigate individual cases.

Publication of evidence

The Committee normally, though not always, chooses to publish the written evidence it receives, either by printing the evidence, publishing it on the internet or by making it publicly available through the Parliamentary Archives. If there is any information you believe to be sensitive you should highlight it and explain what harm you believe would result from its disclosure; the Committee will take this into account in deciding whether to publish or further disclose the evidence.

For data protection purposes, it would be helpful if individuals wishing to submit written evidence send their contact details in a covering letter. You should be aware that there may be circumstances in which the House of Commons will be required to communicate information to third parties on request, in order to comply with its obligations under the Freedom of Information Act 2000.

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