Columbia International Affairs Online: Policy Briefs

CIAO DATE: 06/2012

Global Warming's Unfinished Debate: The Post-Kyoto (2008-2012) Era

Cheryl Rita Kaur

March 2012

Maritime Institute of Malaysia


The Copenhagen Climate Summit in 2009 was aimed at building on an international agreement through a new environmental accord for the post-Kyoto period (2008-2012), including new targets for greenhouse gas emissions. Although various options have been suggested since then, no definite agreement has yet been achieved. The recent United Nations Climate Change Conference in Durban, South Africa further negotiated the implementation of the Convention visa- vis the Kyoto Protocol, the Bali Action Plan, and the Cancun Agreements. The main outcome included the decision to adopt a universal legal agreement on climate change as soon as possible and no later than 2015. This commentary looks at the strengths and problems faced with the Protocol and what will constitute a fair differentiation of commitments among countries to address the issue more effectively post-Kyoto.