COP 17 Concludes with Adoption of the Durban Platform
11 December 2011: After extended negotiations over the weekend, the UN Climate Change Conference in Durban, South Africa, concluded with the adoption of the "Durban Platform," a set of decisions that lay the ground for adopting a legal agreement on climate change as soon as possible, and no later than 2015.
Work on this future agreement will begin immediately under a new group called the Ad Hoc Working Group on the Durban Platform for Enhanced Action. Governments, including 35 industrialized countries, also agreed on a second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol from 1 January 2013. Parties to this second period will turn their economy-wide targets into quantified emission limitation or reduction objectives and submit them for review by 1 May 2012. Governments further agreed on the launch of the Green Climate Fund, as well as the establishment an Adaptation Committee and a Technology Mechanism, which are both to become fully operational in 2012. Speaking at the conclusion of the conference, UNFCCC Executive Secretary Christiana Figueres stated that "While it is clear that these deadlines must be met, countries, citizens and businesses who have been behind the rising global wave of climate action can now push ahead confidently, knowing that Durban has lit up a broader highway to a low-emission, climate resilient future." [UNFCCC Press Release] [UN Press Release] [IISD Coverage (Summary online as of 13 December 2011)]