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Outcome of the Durban (COP 17 and CMP 7) Agreements: Implications for the Private Sector PDF Print E-mail
Climate Compliance
Saturday, 14 January 2012 08:32

The 2011 United Nations Climate Change Conference in Durban, South Africa,[1] resulted in a set of interrelated agreements for furthering international action on climate change. These included the establishment of a new process for working toward a binding, comprehensive agreement on mitigation (the Durban Platform), a second commitment period for the Kyoto Protocol, and a variety of instruments for implementing components of the 2010 Cancun Agreements.[2] Although directly applicable only to national governments that are Parties to the Convention, collectively these agreements define an implicit realm of areas in which reporting requirements and emission reduction obligations are likely to be apportioned to the private sector at some point in the future.

1. The Durban Platform

UNFCCC Parties agreed to establish a new “process to develop a protocol, another legal instrument or an agreed outcome with legal force under the Convention and applicable to all Parties.” In addition, the Parties agreed to create a new negotiating body, the Ad Hoc Working Group on the Durban Platform for Enhanced Action (AWG-DP), to carry out the task of defining the structure and details of a comprehensive climate action mechanism.[3] In essence, the agreement calls for countries to participate in a three-year process, beginning in the first half of 2012 “as a matter of urgency” that is designed to result in an outcome that is rule-based or has legal effect. The words “binding” or “commitment,” however, are not found in the agreement and the Platform does not address the legal form of commitments that could emerge from an outcome with legal force.

Details of the mechanism must be completed by 2015, with implementation of the new mechanism to begin in 2020. Once in effect, the new protocol, instrument, or outcome will replace existing UNFCCC mechanisms, including the Kyoto Protocol. The Durban Platform also requires the AWG-DP to take up a discussion of the long-term implementation of matters which are currently subject to negotiation by other UNFCCC bodies,[4] including mitigation, adaptation, finance, transparency, technology transfer, and capacity-building.

Implications for the private sector

The Durban Platform launches a long-term process, with mid to long-term implications. Political willingness on the part of countries to commit to a meaningful, comprehensive agreement will hinge, in part, on participants furnishing data that is accurate, transparent, complete, and comparable. National governments cannot accomplish this alone. Requirements for private sector emitters in all sectors to provide increasingly accurate and standardized data on their emissions is an inherent part of process.

Compliance is Essential for Environmental Impact Assessment Success PDF Print E-mail
Climate Compliance
Written by Administrator   
Tuesday, 16 November 2010 16:18

INECE Managing Director Ken Markowitz delivered remarks today at the World Bank during the Special Symposium on Climate Change and Impact Assessment. The Symposium, hosted by International Association for Impact Assessment, engaged experts on discussions of the effects of climate change on the impact of projects and the ways that impact assessment can be used for understanding risk and responding to climate change.


Speaking on a panel on “National Governments: Climate Change and EIA – Beyond North America,” Mr. Markowitz explored the risks of failing to adequately assure compliance with EIA requirements. A number of countries have developed guidance for incorporating climate change considerations in environmental assessment at the project level. Mr. Markowitz cautioned that “without compliance with EIA requirements and enforcement of EIA terms, the impact and value of these  costly assessments will be greatly minimized.” He recognized that this is as applicable to climate change, in terms of both project and programmatic considerations, as well as the development of worst case scenarios, as it is to traditional EIA topics like land-use planning and transportation.


Background information on climate change and impact assessment are available at on the IAIA web site.


This article is cross-posted at http://www.inece.org/.