Upcoming climate change conference at Durban, South Africa

Climate Change has become an alarming concern across the globe. It is a global challenge which requires an ambitious global response. India and other developing countries will be among those most seriously impacted by the consequences of Climate Change. Acknowledging that the adverse effects of climate change are a common concern of humankind, The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) was formed in 1992.  UNFCCC is an international environmental treaty that resulted from the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development during the Earth Summit, held in Rio de Janeiro on June 1992.

Since the UNFCCC entered into force, the parties have been meeting annually in the Conferences of the Parties (COP) to assess progress in dealing with climate change and to negotiate the Kyoto Protocol to establish legally binding obligations for developed countries to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions.

This time UNFCCC climate change conference is scheduled in the months of November and December 2011 at Durban, South Africa.

As per the information displayed on UNFCCC website, the Durban Conference will comprise –

  • The 17th Conference of the Parties (COP),The 7th Conference of the Parties serving as the Meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol (CMP),
  • The 35th session of the Subsidiary Body for Implementation (SBI),
  • The 35th session of the Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice (SBSTA),
  • The Ad Hoc Working Group on Further Commitments for Annex I Parties under the Kyoto Protocol    (AWG-KP)
  • The Ad Hoc Working Group on Long-term Cooperative Action under the Convention (AWG-LCA.)

Conference of the Parties will discuss on consideration of proposals by parties for amendments to the Kyoto Protocol i.e. matters relating to compliance under the Kyoto Protocol, The Adaptation Fund, Issues relating to the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM), National communications and greenhouse gas (GHG) inventory data from Annex I parties and non Annex I national communications, etc (Click here to know more)

India requested UNFCCC to include the following agendas in the Durban meeting;

  • Accelerated access to critical mitigation and adaptation technologies and related intellectual property rights
  • Equitable access to sustainable development
  • Unilateral trade measures.

UNFCCC has accepted and will include these additional agendas in the provisional agenda of the 17th session of the Conference of the Parties

Chronology of events – Past Climate change conferences;

Conference of Parties Year Location
COP 1 1995 The Berlin Mandate
COP 2 1996 Geneva, Switzerland
COP 3 1997 Kyoto , Japan (The Kyoto Protocol on Climate Change)
COP 4 1998 Buenos Aires, Argentina
COP 5 1999 Bonn, Germany
COP 6 2000 The Hague, Netherlands
COP 7 2001 Marrakech, Morocco
COP 8 2002 New Delhi, India
COP 9 2003 Milan, Italy
COP 10 2004 Buenos Aires, Argentina
COP 11 2005 Montreal, Canada
COP 12 2006 Nairobi, Kenya
COP 13 2007 Bali, Indonesia
COP 14 2008 Poznań, Poland
COP 15 2009 Copenhagen, Denmark
COP 16 2010 Cancún, Mexico
COP 17 2011 Durban, South Africa
COP 18 2012 Qatar and South Korea, are currently bidding to host the 2012 COP 18

India has been continuously asked by developed countries to take on specific legally binding targets for the reduction of its Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions. Their demand are based on the fact that India’s total GHG emissions are the 3rd largest in volume after the US and China. Developed countries believe that, no climate change mitigation and adaptation accord is possible, if India and other major GHG emitters refuse to accept responsibility in this regard. We hope positive outcomes result from the Durban conference.

Click here to visit UNFCCC website for more information


Shailesh is post graduate in Environment Management from Forest Research Institute (FRI) University, Dehradun, India. Presently he is working in the areas of Environmental and Renewable Energy Advisory Services. He has started GreenCleanGuide.com during his college days.

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