What the Durban agreement means
UN climate change talks in Durban, South Africa, agreed to a package of measures early on Sunday that would eventually force all the world's polluters to take legally binding action to slow the pace of global changing.
After more than two weeks of intense talks, about 190 countries agreed to four main elements - a second commitment period under the Kyoto Protocol, the design of a Green Climate Fund and a mandate to get all countries in 2015 to sign a deal that would force them to cut emissions no later than 2020, as well as a work plan for next year.
KYOTO PROTOCOL EXTENDED
Sunday's deal extends Kyoto, whose first phase of emissions cuts run from 2008 to the end of 2012. The second commitment period will run from Jan. 1 2013 until the end of 2017.
Lawyers will work out how to align this with EU legislation.
Delegates agreed to start negotiations for a new legally binding treaty to be decided by 2015 and to come into force by 2020.
The process, called the Durban Platform for Enhanced Action, would "develop a new protocol, another legal instrument or agreed outcome with legal force that will be applicable to all Parties to the UN climate convention," under a working group.
Delegates decided the process toward developing a new legal instrument would "raise levels of ambition" in reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
The Durban Package brings into operation new arrangements for making more transparent the actions taken by both developed and developing countries to address their emissions. This is a key measure for building trust.
The Durban talks made headway on agreeing the design of Green Climate Fund to channel up to $100 billion a year by 2020 to poorer nations but achieved little on establishing where the money will come from to fill it.
NEW MARKET MECHANISMS
Talks agreed to define new market mechanisms under a successor treaty to the Kyoto Protocol but pushed forward a decision to develop rules until next year.
Delegates decided the mechanisms would operate under the UNFCCC Conference of the Parties and "bear in mind different circumstances of developed and developing countries."
The EU wants any new market mechanisms to cut greenhouse gas emissions outside of Kyoto anchored in international law, in order to avoid fragmentation of the international carbon market.
CARBON CAPTURE AND STORAGE
The new rules force project developers to put 5 per cent of the carbon credits earned in a reserve, to be awarded to them only after site monitors have proved that no carbon dioxide has leaked from the underground store 20 years after the end of the crediting period.