Unwrapping the Durban Package

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 However, the materials have been prepared for informational purposes only and may have been superseded by more recent developments.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: 12/03/2012

The package of decisions adopted in Durban has at least four significant implications:

(A) It has the effect of de-linking the post-2020 regime from the Bali Action Plan;

(B) This de-linking, together with the lack of reference to “common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities” (CBDR) in the ADP Decision, opens the door for the principle of CBDR to be applied differently in the post-2020 regime;

(C) It suggests that we are moving to a legally-binding regime post-2020, the effectiveness of which will depend on the substance of the ADP and the “legal character” of the commitments the Parties take on; and

(D) It decides that there should be a second commitment period under the Kyoto Protocol but does not adopt or expressly provide for the full adoption of the relevant amendments necessary to ensure it is placed on a legal footing. There is, therefore, a limited risk that the second commitment period will remain as a political agreement.