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AWG-KP update
The Kyoto Protocol extended for a second commitment period

 Image   Throughout 2011, the extension of the Kyoto Protocol was seen by many as one of the necessary outcomes of the Durban Conference.  Parties engaged in tense negotiations until the very end of the Conference, which resulted in agreement to a second commitment period beginning 1 January 2013 along with other important decisions, which define or adjust methodological and accounting rules to be used for the second commitment period.

Although Parties agreed to start the second commitment period on 1 Jan 2013, they did not agree on whether it should be five or eight years i.e. end on 31 December 2017 or 2020.  Parties also did not agree on the quantified emission limitation or reduction objectives (QELROs) for the second commitment period. These issues will be resolved by the AWG-KP during 2012. The group will also consider the implications of the carry-over of assigned amount units to the second commitment period on the scale of emission reductions to be achieved by Annex I Parties in aggregate for the second commitment period.

A significant portion of the work under the AWG-KP was transferred to the subsidiary bodies for further work.  The Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice (SBSTA) has been tasked with, among other things:
  • assessing and addressing the implications of the decisions taken  in Durban on previous decisions relating to Articles 5 (on methodologies), 7 (on reporting) and 8 (on review) of the Kyoto Protocol,
  • initiating a work programme to consider and, as appropriate, develop and recommend modalities and procedures for alternative approaches to addressing the risk of non-permanence under the Clean Development Mechanism, and,
  • initiating a work programme to develop and recommend modalities and procedures for applying the concept of additionality.
The Subsidiary Body for Implementation was asked to revise the design of the commitment period reserve for the subsequent commitment period.

The AWG-KP made good progress on LULUCF by adopting the definitions, modalities, rules and guidelines relating to LULUCF activities for the second commitment period, with further technical work continuing under the SBSTA.  It was also agreed that further work on potential consequences would be taken up under the Forum to Implement the Work Programme on the Impact of the Implementation of Response Measures under the Convention.

The next session of the AWG-KP, scheduled to be convened during the period 14 - 25 May, 2012 in Bonn, Germany will seek to finalise the work left unfinished in Durban.