A Legal Form Proposal for Durban and Beyond
12 Pages Posted: 25 Nov 2011
Date Written: November 25, 2011
The legal form of the eventual global agreement on climate change has been uncertain since the 2007 Bali conference of the parties (COP) agreed to adopt an unspecified "outcome" at the 2009 Copenhagen conference. For the first time, the 2010 Cancun Agreements established an informal group to discuss this issue openly. The approaching end of the first commitment of the Kyoto Protocol will likely create significant political pressure around the issue of legal form. It appears that a rather large and diverse group of countries is willing to negotiate a new legally binding agreement, but large differences remain regarding its timing; interaction with the Kyoto; and substance. This paper summarizes this debate, and outlines a step-by-step approach towards a new legally binding agreement. The final section describes some of the legal approaches to implement the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities within a single legal instrument.
Keywords: UNFCCC, Kyoto Protocol, legal instruments, climate change
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