Thursday, December 13, 2012

Doha Outcomes

The main outcomes of the Doha COP meeting that recently concluded were a potentially expanded commitment on financial transfers from developed to developing countries and the renewal of the Kyoto Treaty.

On the Kyoto Treaty I have seen no discussion in the media of the actual commitments participants have agreed to. It turns out that countries have simply used their Copenhagen commitments. So Australia will reduce emissions by 5% from 1990 levels and the EU, 20%. Now these are internationally legally binding commitments. Of course, the total emissions of these countries are only 15% of global emissions. The US never ratified Kyoto and Canada and Japan will not join in the next period. Supposedly, a new treaty is coming in 2015...

There has been much talk in the Australian media and particularly in The Australian about the financing commitment. The latter newspaper derived their numbers from a paper put out by Frank Jotzo but it seems to be used rather out of context. Frank has an op-ed out putting it all into context again.


  1. David,
    the phrase "15% of global emissions" seems to appear in every politician's press release and every media outlet's coverage of Doha. It would appear highly problematic in terms of definition. What is it's provenance? Is it CDIAC? UNEP? Carbon Tracker? Does "global emissions" include all Kyoto gases? What metric of CO2 equivalence applies? Or is it just Carbon dioxide? I would be interested in your thoughts.

  2. I don't know, I just copied what I read :) I'd assume it is all emissions covered under the UNFCCC. All signatories to the UNFCCC have to report their emissions, so I'd guess it was based on that. Do you think that the Kyoto countries add up to more?

  3. No I don't have a view on that. Two wikipedia editors here ( seem to agree on a range of 13% to 15% of global CO2 emissions on either a 2005 or a 2010 set of data.