Doha 2012: Act NOW, the climate won’t wait

CIEL’s Climate Change Program will be in Doha, Qatar for negotiations under the UNFCCC and Kyoto Protocol
Nov 26 to Dec 7, 2012


Update: For CIEL’s analysis of the Doha outcome, view Human Rights Analysis of the Doha Gateway (UNFCCC 18th Conference of the Parties), April 2013

Update: At Doha Climate Talks: Failed ambition and unfulfilled promises, December 9, 2012

This year’s UN climate negotiations mark the end of the first set of commitments to reduce greenhouse gas emission by developed countries under the Kyoto Protocol.  Despite a tense agreement last year to adopt a second period of commitments under Kyoto and to close parallel negotiations under the Convention, the outlook for Doha and, more significantly, the immediate future of the climate regime is far from clear.  While countries have agreed to a second commitment period in principle, they have not yet made concrete decisions as to what the numbers (emission reduction targets) will be.  In the end, the fate of the Kyoto Protocol will be determined by the Parties’ ability to reconcile their differing views on responsibilities for emission reductions and financing (both for mitigation and adaptation).

A key part of last year’s deal was the Durban Platform, which was intended to increase current pledges from all Parties and set a timeline for negotiating a new legally binding instrument for 2020 and beyond.  This outcome helped keep the negotiations on life support, but it has not provided a framework to achieve the urgent action required to limit rising temperatures to below 2 degrees C, let alone below 1.5 degrees C (global goal that is supported by over 100 countries)

Parties have had considerable difficulty agreeing on the legal architecture to achieve mitigation, adaptation, and financial goals that all will accept; and now, the Parties are almost out of time.  Without a second commitment period and corresponding action under the Convention, there will be a gap in the legal regime after 2012. Recent reports on climate change and its impacts put into stark light the gravity of what we are facing.  The international climate change regime is at a critical juncture.  And the time to act is now.

CIEL at the Climate Negotiations

Advancing a rights-based approach, CIEL promotes public participation and works to strengthen international standards, monitoring, and accountability processes.  In Doha, we will be focused on the following issues:

  • Ensuring public participation:  CIEL will continue efforts to promote meaningful and effective participation in the negotiation process itself and in the climate policies, institutions and mechanisms that are being developed.
  • Promoting safeguards and accountability mechanisms: A core part of CIEL’s work is to help ensure that international actions to address climate change are good for communities and ecosystems.  This includes policies designed to protect rights and the environment, prevent or minimize harms (safeguards) and improve processes for those affected to raise concerns (public participation and grievance processes).
    • Reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD+).  A major issue in Doha is how to structure payments for the results (or benefits) of REDD+ activities.  CIEL will push for a structure that incentivizes social, environmental, and governance benefits as well as carbon benefits.  Additionally, Parties will be negotiating the technical aspects of national forest monitoring, which is currently focused on carbon.  For coherence and effectiveness, it is critical that national monitoring of the internationally-agreed REDD+ safeguards is linked with national forest monitoring systems.
    • Clean Development Mechanism:  Parties are still negotiating the terms of a new appeals procedure under the CDM. CIEL will work to ensure that those who are allowed to make such an appeal include individuals and groups affected by a CDM project.
  • Legal Architecture and Measurement, Reporting, and Verification (MRV):  CIEL will provide technical expertise to policymakers and NGO networks on legal architecture and MRV, which deals with overall accountability in the regime (see CAN’s position on Doha Milestones).  In particular, CIEL will work to ensure common accounting rules for developed countries, and a transparent framework for reporting on nationally appropriate mitigation actions (NAMAs) by developing countries.
  • Supporting Loss and Damage mechanism: CIEL will advocate for a mechanism that will provide the necessary resources to peoples and communities that are facing the risk of significant loss and damage from climate change impacts.


CIEL will be participating in the following events:


Contact information: Doha, Qatar
Niranjali Amerasinghe, , 1-202-288-2204
Alyssa Johl,, 1-510-435-6892
Allison Silverman,, 1-202-742-5849