COP17 climate talks: Mapping the way towards a legal framework by 2015

News Published 19 Dec 2011 Last modified 21 Jun 2016
2 min read
A new way forward has been agreed upon in Durban, South Africa, after two weeks of climate change negotiations. The European Union welcomed the agreement from the COP17 climate conference as a breakthrough in the fight against climate change.

What was agreed

The delegates agreed a roadmap towards a new legal framework by 2015. The 'Durban Platform for Enhanced Action' is a process to develop a legal framework applicable to all Parties to the UN climate convention. It aims to raise levels of ambition in reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The Durban climate conference also agreed to launch a work plan to identify options for closing the "ambition gap" between countries' current emissions reduction pledges for 2020 and the goal of keeping global warming below 2°C.

The package decided in Durban foresees a second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol, starting in 2013 and avoiding a gap after the first commitment period running from 2008-12. New arrangements were made to increase the transparency of emissions reduction actions, a key measure for building trust between Parties.

Another area of agreement was in the design and governance arrangements for the new Green Climate Fund. The fund is expected to be one of the major distribution channels for the USD 100 billion in assistance which developed countries have pledged to mobilise for developing nations annually by 2020. These funds will support mitigation efforts.

The EEA - supporting action on climate change

The European Environment Agency (EEA) publishes several reports each year improving the understanding of climate change, climate change mitigation and adaptation. This information is freely available for policy-makers and the public.

In October, the EEA published a report assessing progress towards the Kyoto target and the EU’s greenhouse gas emission reduction target for 2020. The EEA also updates the annual European Union greenhouse gas inventory and prepares greenhouse gas country profiles. Greenhouse gas emissions across the EU can easily be analysed with the EEA greenhouse gas data viewer.

Strategies to adapt to climate change are necessary to manage impacts even if the global average temperature remains within a 2° C increase above the pre-industrial level. Therefore the EEA has published reports addressing the question of how to adapt to climate change. These include a range of assessments and a report on regional climate change and adaptation.

The EEA plans to publish the updated European Union greenhouse gas inventory by mid-2012 and a report on the impacts of climate change later that year.

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