The Bali Road Map was adopted at the 13th Conference of the Parties and the 3rd Meeting of the Parties in December 2007 in Bali. The Road Map is a set of a forward-looking decisions that represent the work that needs to be done under various negotiating "tracks" that is essential to reaching a secure climate future.
The Bali Road Map includes the Bali Action Plan, which charts the course for a new negotiating process designed to tackle climate change. The Bali Action Plan is a comprehensive process to enable the full, effective and sustained implementation of the Convention through long-term cooperative action, now, up to and beyond 2012, in order to reach an agreed outcome and adopt a decision. All Parties to the Convention were involved in crafting the Bali Road Map. The COP decided that the process would be conducted under a subsidiary body under the Convention, the Ad Hoc Working Group on Long-term Cooperative Action (AWG-LCA).
The Bali Action Plan is divided into five main categories: shared vision, mitigation, adaptation, technology and financing. The shared vision refers to a long-term vision for action on climate change, including a long-term goal for emission reductions. The AWG-LCA subsequently split the work streams into components under those five parts.
Working in parallel would be the Ad Hoc Working Group on Further Commitments for Annex I Parties under the Kyoto Protocol (AWG-KP) negotiations, which was established in Montreal in 2005. Until COP17 in Durban, the main focus of the negotiations under the KP had been to decide what to do when its first commitment period expired in 2012. A decision was reached in Durban to move into a second commitment period in 2013, with Annex I parties submitting their quantified emission reduction targets in May 2012, to be adopted at COP18 in Qatar in December 2012.
The road to agreement
The Bali Action Plan was highly ambitious. In terms of the time lines it spelled out, it may have been overly optimistic, and underestimated the complexity both of climate change as a problem and of crafting a global response to it.
At COP15 in Copenhagen, the Conference of the Parties extended the AWG-LCA's mandate, enabling it to continue its work with the aim of presenting the outcome of this work at COP 16 in Cancun in 2010. COP15 advanced many key issues.
- It raised climate change policy to the highest political level;
- It advanced the negotiations on the infrastructure needed for well-functioning, global climate change cooperation;
- It produced the Copenhagen Accord. It was not adopted by all governments, but it advanced a number of key issues; and
- It committed developed countries to $30 billion fast-start financing (in 2010-2012) for adaptation and mitigation in developing countries, with priority given to the least developed countries.
All of this momentum was built upon in Cancun in 2010, when governments drew up the Cancun Agreements, a set of significant decisions to respond to the long-term challenge of climate change collectively and comprehensively, now and over time. Countries decided to make their emission reduction pledges official, in what was the largest collective effort the world has ever seen to reduce emissions in a mutually accountable way. Click here for more information on mitigation under the Cancun Agreements.
Parties then continued to work towards a post-2012 legally-binding agreement with the Cancun Agreements and Bali Road Map as their foundations, and the Convention and KP as their guides. At COP17 in Durban, they reached agreement on a second commitment period on the Kyoto Protocol and on a pathway and deadlines to drawing up and committing to a new, post-2020 mitigation framework under the Convention (see section on Durban Platform for Enhanced Action). All industrialised countries and 48 developing countries also affirmed their pledges up to 2020.
At COP 18 in Doha, Qatar, in December 2012, Parties adopted the decision 1/CP.18 (Agreed outcome pursuant to the Bali Action Plan), thereby successfully concluding 5 years of work under the Bali Action Plan, with significant achievements enabling enhanced action on mitigation, adaptation, finance, technology and capacity-building.