Maldives on 1 July 2015 submitted its instrument of acceptance of the Doha amendment to the Kyoto Protocol to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCC). The Doha amendment was agreed in the Qatari capital in 2012 by all the members of the UNFCC.
So far, 35 Parties have accepted the extension and 144 (3/4 of 192) parties are required to bring the Kyoto Protocol Extension into force.
The extension to the protocol became necessary against the backdrop of pending negotiations on replacement to the Kyoto Protocol that is set to be finalized in 2015 and come into force in 2021.
The Kyoto Protocol (KP) was adopted in Kyoto, Japan, on 11 December 1997 and entered into force on 16 February 2005. The detailed rules for the implementation of the Protocol were adopted at Conference of Parties (COP) 7 in Marrakesh, Morocco, in 2001, and are referred to as the Marrakesh Accords.
It was based on the common but differentiated responsibilities principle and first commitment period started in 2008 and ended in 2012.
Doha Amendments to KP
In Doha on 8 December 2012, the Doha Amendment to the Kyoto Protocol was adopted by the members of the UNFCC. The amendment includes:
• New commitments for Annex I Parties (developed countries) to the Kyoto Protocol who agreed to take on commitments in a second commitment period from 1 January 2013 to 31 December 2020.
• A revised list of greenhouse gases (GHG) to be reported on by Parties in the second commitment period
• Amendments to several articles of the Kyoto Protocol which specifically referenced issues pertaining to the first commitment period and which needed to be updated for the second commitment period.
Difference between first commitment period and second commitment period
37 industrialized countries and the European Community committed to reduce GHG emissions to an average of five percent against 1990 levels in the first commitment period between 2008 and 2012.
During the second commitment period, Parties committed to reduce GHG emissions by at least 18 percent below 1990 levels in the eight-year period from 2013 to 2020; however, the composition of Parties in the second commitment period is different from the first.
Beyond Doha Amendment to Kyoto Protocol
In Durban in 2011, the Ad Hoc Working Group on the Durban Platform for Enhanced Action (ADP) was established to develop a protocol, another legal instrument under the UNFCC, applicable to all Parties of the UNFCC.
The future protocol will be based on the principle of Intended Nationally determined Contributions (INDCs) under which countries will publicly outline what post-2020 climate actions they intend to take.
The new protocol is expected to be ratified by the COP-21 in Paris in December 2015 in order to bring it into force in 2021.
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When: 1 July 2015