UN's 18th conference on climate change, Qatar

The Kyoto Protocol on climate change, due to expire on December 31st, has been extended until 2020 after the UN's 18th climate conference held in Doha, Qatar.

The agreement was reached with the rejection of Canada, Russia, Japan and New Zealand to ratify the protocol and despite an objection of the Russian Federation. Major polluting countries such as the US, China or India did not join the initiative.

The EU stuck to its commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in member states by 20 per cent by 2020, but this will be reviewed in 2014 to see if it could be “more ambitious”. EU GHG emissions have been reduced by 18 per cent so far.

The two-week-long summit went on until Saturday due to disagreements during the negotiations. One of the key points was the request from developing countries of further commitment from rich nations to scale-up climate aid. Although a standing committee was created no concrete measures were agreed.

Scientific community and climate activists consider the impact of the agreement will be minimal to tackle climate change since “Kyoto 2” will relate to less than 15 per cent of global emissions.