The Doha Outcomes Part I – The Doha Amendment to the Kyoto Protocol

Briefing paper

All reasonable efforts have been made to ensure the accuracy of this information at the time the advice was produced (please refer to the date produced below). However, the materials have been prepared for informational purposes only and may have been superseded by more recent developments. They do not constitute formal legal advice or create a lawyer-client relationship. You should seek legal advice to take account of your own interests. To the extent permitted any liability is excluded. Those consulting the database may wish to contact LRI for clarifications and an updated analysis.

Date produced: 25/04/2013

In Doha, the KP Parties adopted amendments to the Kyoto Protocol relating to CP2 (the Doha Amendment). The Doha Amendment, once it has entered into force, will be binding under international law on the Parties that have deposited their instruments of acceptance in respect of the Doha Amendment. The Doha Amendment and the KP Decision set out the foundational rules related to CP2. The key aspects of CP2 are as follows:

  • CP2 will be eight years long, running from 1 January 2013 until 31 December 2020;
  • Parties taking on commitments in CP2 (CP2 Parties) are required to reduce their aggregate emissions by 18 per cent below 1990 levels in CP2. The commitments of individual Parties range from a 24 per cent reduction (in the case of Ukraine) to a 0.5 per cent reduction (in the case of Australia). The European Union, as a whole, is required to reduce its emissions by 20 per cent;
  • CP2 Parties are required to review their commitments by the end of 2014 with a view to increasing the level of their mitigation ambition;
  • Notwithstanding the commitments set out in Annex B to the Kyoto Protocol (as amended), each CP2 Party’s commitment in CP2 must be at least as ambitious as its actual annual average emissions between 2008 and 2010;

CP2 Parties may carry over surplus CP1 AAUs into CP2 without limit but may only use or acquire such AAUs in limited circumstances;

  • Access to all of the Kyoto Protocol’s market mechanisms remain uninterrupted for
  • CP2 Parties; and
  • KP Parties agreed to the implementation of the Doha Amendment pending its formal entry into force, thus ensuring the Kyoto Protocol’s operational continuity.

The KP Decision and the Doha Amendment preserve the multilateral, rules-­based regime in respect of mitigation commitments of Annex I Parties. Even though there has been no substantive increase in mitigation ambition since pledges were announced under the AWG-­LCA after Copenhagen and Cancun, KP Parties’ endorsement of the top-­‐down, rules-­‐based regime, as embodied in the Kyoto Protocol, is potentially significant as negotiators shift their attention to the negotiations under the ADP related to the future of the climate regime.