International Climate Change: What to Expect at the Durban Conference, December 2011 [November 22, 2011] [open pdf - 275KB]
"Delegations from more than 190 countries and regions meet from November 28 to December 9, 2011, in Durban, South Africa, to continue discussions of how to address climate change under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). The year 2012 will mark both the 20th anniversary of the opening for signature of the UNFCCC in Rio de Janeiro in 1992 and the end of the first 'commitment period' (2008-2012) of the UNFCCC's subsidiary Kyoto Protocol. In 2010, the Conference of the Parties (COP) to the UNFCCC adopted a set of decisions referred to as the 'Cancun Agreements.' These embody pledges to abate greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions made by all major emitting Parties; reporting and review systems to ensure 'transparency' of implementation; a new Green Climate Fund and a Technology Mechanism; and restatement of pledges by the wealthiest countries to mobilize financing for adaptation, mitigation, technology, and capacity-building: pledges approaching $30 billion during 2010-2012, and a goal of approaching $100 billion annually by 2020. […] The absence of commitments from the top three global GHG emitters (China, the United States, and India) is a matter of consternation among many delegations. In Durban, the Parties may agree on rules to establish the Climate Green Fund, the Standing Committee on Finance, the Adaptation Committee, the Technology Committee, and Clean Technology Centre, and additional decisions to promote mitigation of greenhouse gases and adaptation to impacts of climate change. A proposal exists, but seems unlikely to be adopted, to set a mandate to negotiate by 2015 a new global agreement that would take effect by 2020."
CRS Report for Congress, R42101