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 Tuesday, 13 December 2011
COP17 closes with agreements on second commitment period for the Kyoto Protocol and on the next steps for the negotiations

At the end of an intense two weeks in Durban, South Africa, the UNFCCC has announced that the countries meeting at the 2011 UN Conference on Climate Change (COP17/CMP7) have delivered a breakthrough, on the future of the response from the international community to causes and effects of climate change. The package of decisions adopted by the conference include the following key outcomes:

  • Definition of a road map for the adoption of a new universal legal agreement on climate change to be adopted as soon as possible, but not later than 2015, and that should enter into force by 2020;
  • Agreement on a second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol to enter into force on January 1, 2013. Parties to this second period, which includes 35 industrialized countries, will turn their economy-wide targets into quantified emission limitation or reduction objectives and submit them for review by May 2012;
  • Agreement on an advanced framework for the reporting of emission reductions for both developed and developing countries;
  • Decisions on the full implementation of several of the Cancun agreements, including the operationalization of the Green Climate Fund, the Technology Mechanism and the Adaptation Committee.
Whilst governments have pledged to make progress in these areas, it is acknowledged with urgent concern that the current sum of pledges to cut emissions both from developed and developing countries is not high enough to keep the global average temperature rise below two degrees Celsius.

Alongside the negotiations that took place in the main arena, the ITU delegation at the conference promoted the potential of ICTs as a solution to move the negotiations forward and address the challenges of climate change.

Key activities held by ITU included the co-organization of the ICT Day at COP17 (held in collaboration with the members of the coalition on ICT and climate change), the organization of an exhibit during the conference and the launch of a special edition of ITU News .

Through these activities ITU has continued to contribute to the effort undertaken by the global community to address climate change. The next milestone in the negotiations will be the 2012 UN Climate Change Conference (COP18/CMP18), to take place in Qatar in December 2012.

Find more about ITU´s activities con climate change on