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Durban to Doha: Europe must confirm his return in the climate negotiations (Policy Brief 279 - September 2012)

Durban to Doha: Europe must confirm his return in the climate negotiations (Policy Brief 279 - September 2012)


International Conference on Climate Change Durban marked the return of European diplomacy, which, in Copenhagen, was kept out of the final discussions between the United States and China. In South Africa, at the insistence of Europe, representatives from China, India and the U.S. for the first time accepted the idea of ​​a global agreement requiring the objectives of reducing emissions of greenhouse gases to developed countries as emerging countries.

  • Durban to Doha: Europe must confirm his return in the climate negotiations

This success, however, can not forget the faults of negotiation: States' commitments are now insufficient to prevent an increase in global average temperature of more than 2 ° C, the future agreement will be operational until 2020 at best , and the European Union (EU) is likely to be the only major emitter internationally to agree to participate in a second phase of the Kyoto Protocol. The Union must continue its diplomatic efforts. For
them to be successful, it must first implement concretely the second phase of the Kyoto Protocol by establishing its own policy.

The coming months, marked by the U.S. presidential elections and the change of presidency Chinese vraisemblabelemetn will not lead to the adoption of technical decisions in the conference in Qatar at the end of the year. They should still allow the actual implementation of the Cancún Agreement, signed in 2010. Furthermore, Europe must bring countries in favor of climate protection in 2015 to sign a global agreement with legal force at that time and enhance the objectives of reducing national emissions. In addition, a comprehensive dialogue with India would better understand how the country intends to participate in the international climate regime without compromising its economic and social development. In the short term, the preparation and the Doha summit would allow the EU to prepare for the future global agreement. European diplomacy could thus pursue three strategic directions.


  • The outcome of the Durban conference: technical advances, a draft still unclear the next global climate regime
  • The evolution of the geopolitical game reflects the difficulty of reconciling national interests
  • What objectives for the EU in 2012?
  • Authors: Dominique Auverlot and Blandine Barreau, Sustainable Development Department .

Keywords: climate change, climate, greenhouse gas emissions, greenhouse gases, climate negotiations, UNFCCC, Copenhagen, Cancun, Durban, Durban Plategorme, Kyoto Protocol, India.


Centre d’analyse stratégique