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Trading Carbon : December - January 2011
S08 INTERNATIONAL NEGOTIATIONS WHAT IS SCHEDULED FOR DISCUSSION AT THE DURBAN CLIMATE CHANGE TALKS? bodies (see box). In the course of these sessions, various talks are planned to take place on issues related to existing and potentially new market-based mechanisms. Fundamental to markets in the short term and, ultimately, the long term -- in the sense of how it will affect other aspects of the talks -- is the future of the Kyoto Protocol. The work falls under the Ad Hoc Working Group on Further Commitments for Annex I Parties under the Kyoto Protocol (AWG--KP), but, in reality, is the overarching issue of all the conference disc ussions. The most recent UN climate talks in Panama in early October saw developing countries put pressure on the EU to take on a second Kyoto commitment period from 2013. Such a move would help to ensure the future of the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) -- the world's largest offset market and major source of carbon credits for companies in Europe covered by the EU Emissions Trading Scheme (see Trading Carbon, November 2011, pages 20--21). Two years after the Copenhagen UN climate meeting was supposed to deliver a new climate change regime, many negotiators now talk about 2015 as the earliest possible date for such an agreement. This year's high-level meeting in Durban (COP/ MOP), South Africa, will, therefore, only be a stepping stone to a conclusion sometime in the future. But, even with the lack of expectation, those negotiators will need to show a willingness in Durban to move the UN climate process forward. In order to do so, the conference will have to make progress on some of the issues up for discussion. Canc un's so-called successes, last year, may have restored some faith in the UN talks, but it is unlikely that observers will accept a similar woolly end to this year's event. So what is up for disc ussion in Durban? As usual, the COP/MOP will see the continuation of meetings of UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Dec 2011/Jan 2012 www.pointcarbon.com JOSHUA LOTT/REUTERS Durban itinerary