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Climate change is a complex problem, which, although environmental in nature, has consequences for all spheres of existence on our planet. It impacts on - or is impacted by - global issues, including poverty, economic development, population growth, sustainable development and resource management.

At the very heart of the response to climate change lies the need to reduce emissions. In 2010, governments agreed that emissions need to be reduced so that global temperature increases are limited to below 2 degrees Celsius and in 2012 they committed themselves to achieving a global, binding agreement on emission reductions by end of 2015.

The main issues to be discussed at the Warsaw COP 19 meeting on 11-22 November will be the following:

  • Ensuring effective implementation of the previous COP decisions.
  • Setting a detailed Roadmap to achieve a global agreement in 2015.
  • Advancing work allowing for fair and global action with respect to closing the emission gap in the years 2015-2020.
  • Ensuring progress in establishing institutional arrangements for addressing loss and damage.
  • Addressing the question of climate financing including financing related issues in the period of 2013-2020 and post 2020.
  • Assigning appropriate importance to implementation of the technological and adaptation programs and mechanisms.
  • Successfully concluding decisions on REDD+, LULUCF, agriculture, response measures forum, continuation of JI and biennial budget of UNFCCC and the Kyoto Protocol.

Climate Negotiation History

In 1992, countries joined an international treaty, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), to cooperatively consider what they could do to limit average global temperature increases and the resulting climate change, and to cope with the inevitable impacts.

Since then a number of steps have been taken, here in reversed order:

2012 The Doha Amendment to the Kyoto Protocol is adopted by the CMP at CMP8.

2011 — The Durban Platform for Enhanced Action drafted and accepted by the COP, at COP17.

2010 Cancun Agreements drafted and largely accepted by the COP, at COP16.

2009 — Copenhagen Accord drafted at COP15 in Copenhagen. This was taken note of by the COP. Countries later submitted emissions reductions pledges or mitigation action pledges, all non-binding.

2007 — At COP13, Parties agreed on the Bali Road Map, which charted the way towards a post-2012 outcome.

2005 — Entry into force of the Kyoto Protocol.

1997 Kyoto Protocol formally adopted in December at COP3.