a1 Professor, Centre for Policy Research, New Delhi. Email: email@example.com.
The Durban Climate Conference, marked by tension, high drama and sleepless nights, agreed on a set of historic decisions under the climate regime 36 hours after the scheduled end of the conference. The climate regime—comprising the 1992 Framework Convention on Climate Change and its 1997 Kyoto Protocol, and decisions taken by Parties under these instruments—has been plagued in the last few years, in particular after the debacle at Copenhagen, by doubt and uncertainty. Doubt over its ability to meet climate goals, and uncertainty over its future, in particular that of the Kyoto Protocol. At Durban, Parties strengthened the climate regime with decisions to implement the 2010 Cancun Agreements, extend the beleaguered Kyoto Protocol, for a second commitment period, and launch a new process to negotiate a post-2020 climate regime. This new process, christened the Ad-Hoc Working Group on the Durban Platform for Enhanced Action, is intended to craft the agreement that will govern, regulate and incentivize the next generation of climate actions.
I am grateful to Jutta Brunnée, Michael Zammit Cutajar, Chandrashekar Dasgupta, Navroz Dubash, Jürgen Lefevere, JM Mauskar, Catherine Redgwell, Joanne Scott and Harald Winkler for helpful comments on an earlier version of this article, and to Shibani Ghosh for her excellent research assistance. I participated in the Durban Climate Conference as a consultant with the UNFCCC Secretariat, but the views expressed in this article are strictly personal.