Australia and the Kyoto Protocol: How they can breathe life into the second commitment period

Ryan attended the 2012 UNFCCC COP18 in Doha where he represented Swinburne University of Technology. He is currently a Bachelor of Journalism and Art student

Abstract

The first commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol will end on 31st of December 2012 and a second commitment period (2CP) of the Protocol is currently on the negotiating table. Australia has announced that they will sign up for the 2CP at COP18 in Doha, with a 5% reduction target to 2000 levels under certain conditions. This is the lowest reduction target in their target range based on international progress and is not ambitious enough for Australia to make substantial gains. Australia’s economy will benefit significantly through an increase in ambition that is comparable to other countries acting internationally.

Read More

The Kyoto mechanisms: How to reconcile CDM and Ji in a new international agreement

Kahil attended the 2012 UNFCCC COP18 in Doha where he represented Griffith University. He is currently studying a Bachelor of Law and Arts and he recently completed a course on environmental law at Maastricht University in The Netherlands.

Abstract

The future roles for the Clean Development Mechanism (‘CDM’) and Joint Implementation (‘JI’) within the second Kyoto commitment period, and a future international agreement, is considered. The CDM has played a vital role in delivering climate-related finance and technology transfer to developing nations, incorporating the developing world into the solution for this global issue. However, there are fundamental issues with the mechanism that must be addressed; concepts such as sustainability, additionality and governance need to be reformed and improved. Moreover, the CDM operates as an offsetting mechanism that, without a global emission cap binding on all parties, allows for actual greenhouse gas emission increases. JI offers a solution as to how the CDM’s benefits can be continued under an agreement where parties assume binding caps; it has been significantly undervalued. A future international climate agreement should maintain and extend JI to incorporate the concerns levelled against the CDM, and thereby continue the positive benefits that the CDM has delivered.

Read More

Engaging indigenous peoples in carbon markets

Elizabeth attended the UNFCCC COP18 in Doha where she represented The Australian National University. She is currently a Bachelor of Arts/Science student and she is also completing the Australian National Internships Program with the Parliamentary Secretary for Climate Change.

Abstract

Carbon markets are emerging globally as a tool that countries use to address the challenges of climate change by reducing or offsetting their carbon dioxide emissions. This paper examines the opportunities for the engagement of indigenous communities in carbon markets. Indigenous communities that engage in carbon markets by conducting projects that contribute to mitigating or offsetting emissions may be able to access co-benefits. However, the state of the international carbon market is fragmented and has provided mixed success in engaging indigenous communities. But, there may be opportunities via international climate change negotiations for the improvement of the state of carbon markets and indigenous communities’ role in them. Finally, this paper makes several recommendations for improving the engagement of indigenous people in carbon markets.

Read More

(Loss and) damage, Doha & displacement

Catherine attended the UNFCCC COP18 in Doha where she represented RMIT. Catherine is a Bachelor of Arts (International Studies) (Honours) student.

Abstract

Forced migration and displacement as a result of climate change and its effects is a matter of growing urgency for the international community. The purpose of this paper is to explore the role the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and its mechanisms can play in addressing this issue. This paper responds to the questions: What is the current place of climate change-induced displacement in the UNFCCC? To what extent could the UNFCCC be used to address this issue, specifically the use of Loss and Damage? The protection gap that exists within our present international system with regards to people who could be internationally displaced by climate change, such as those from Small Island Developing States (SIDS) is illustrated. A milestone was achieved in 2010 at COP16 when displacement and migration were officially incorporated into the outcome text and these issues were therefore acknowledged by states. However, little has occurred since. A mechanism to address Loss and Damage could be used to tackle the issue, yet the form this mechanism will take needs to be agreed upon first. AOSIS provides a comprehensive suggestion for how the UNFCCC could effectively attend to Loss and Damage.

Read More