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Half Time at COP18 in Doha

December 4, 2012 by David Hone
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After a week of talks in Doha at COP18, it is difficult to draw a clear conclusion about how the conference might conclude. Certainly there is an active discussion underway, but progress is slow and many of the historical divisions have resurfaced, despite the apparent progress made in Durban last year. Like many of these conferences, the last moments of the second week may well see a rapid push for concluding text.[read more]

What To Expect From COP 18 in Doha

November 27, 2012 by David Hone
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Doha Skyline via Shutterstock

This week sees the start of the 18th Conference of the Parties of the UNFCCC, or COP18 for short, in Doha, Qatar. This should be a busy transitional COP, with much on the agenda to resolve and important steps forward being taken toward a long term international agreement. But procedural issues, agenda disagreements and fundamental sticking points could still dominate, leading to a two week impasse. Let’s hope not.[read more]

Message to Durban: It's The Economy

November 30, 2011 by Geoffrey Styles

What if they held a UN climate conference and no one came? That's certainly not the case at this year's COP-17 (Conference of the Parties) meeting now underway in Durban, South Africa, but with expectations for dramatic progress low, and a breakthrough on the scale needed to salvage the expiring Kyoto Protocol nearly unimaginable, it could be where the UN-led process is headed. If Durban fails to deliver the goods, it won't be because the participants were any less concerned about climate change than those at past sessions. Nor will it be because of the latest release of Climategate emails, as embarrassing as some of them should be for the scientists involved. The reason is much simpler, and it's the same one that helped Bill Clinton unseat George H.W. Bush in 1992: "It's the economy, stupid." The solution to climate change is unlikely to be found in Durban or any future COP site until the leaders in Brussels, Washington and other capitals come to grips with the massive economic challenges they face and create the framework for a return to robust growth.[read more]

Short and long term strategies

November 12, 2010 by David Hone
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The first Doha Carbon and Energy Forum was held this week, organized by Qatar Petroleum and the Qatar Foundation with support from ExxonMobil. The event focused on steps that could be taken in Qatar and the region to begin to address the issue of carbon emissions. Sessions on carbon capture and storage, energy efficiency and alternative energy each produced a set of proposals to take forward. There is no doubt that the Gulf region is very aware of the issue of climate change and its implications, particularly the potential economic impact going forward as the world looks to alternative energy sources. In Qatar there is also a feeling of optimism because of the very substantial natural gas reserves there. But there is also a realization that a very well thought through strategic approach will be required to capitalize on the long term value of the resource in an increasingly carbon constrained world.[read more]