COP 18 started with minimal expectations, but after 11 days of negotiations, the big issues are still to be resolved
Durban’s COP17 last year were a big moment in climate negotiations. It created the Durban Platform, a legally-binding process for all members that will ensure countries are unified in their reduction of Greenhouse Gas emissions.
It is to be ready to sign by 2015 and to go into force in 2020. But no roadmap on how to get there was agreed on in Durban – just that it had to be done. So the next few COPs will become increasingly urgent as this hugely complex drive has to be put to paper with numbers and specific targets.
With 2015 seeming so far away observer organisations have raised concerns that any real decisions might be put off to the next COP in Poland. And until the Durban Platform comes into force there is an eight-year gap that is not covered by any agreements -- the Kyoto Protocol runs out at the end of this year unless a second commitment period can be agreed upon.