On 11 December 2011 the delegates of the Durban Climate Conference (COP17/CMP7) have extended Kyoto Protocol and established a road map to a new global binding agreement to tackle the emission of greenhouse gases.

It was agreed that the second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol shall begin on 1 January 2013 and end either on 31 December 2017 or 31 December 2020. Decision on this shall be made by the Ad Hoc Working Group on Further Commitments for Annex I Parties under the Kyoto Protocol at its 17th session. The states that agreed for extension of Kyoto Protocol also set clear targets of emission reductions below 1990 levels by 2020. The aim for aggregate reduction of the greenhouse gases by Annex I Parties is set at least 25 - 40 % below 1990 levels by 2020. Ukraine committed itself to 20% reduction of greenhouse gas emissions by the year 2020.

The Parties agreed to launch a process "to develop a protocol, another legal instrument or an agreed outcome with legal force under the Convention applicable to all Parties", through a specially established subsidiary body the "Ad Hoc Working Group on the Durban Platform for Enhanced Action". This Working Group shall start its work in the first half of 2012 and complete it by no later than 2015 in order for the new legal instrument to be adopted at the 21 session of the Conference of the Parties and for it to come into effect and be implemented from 2020.

Unfortunately, Durban Conference did not give answer to the post-2012 future of the Joint Implementation mechanism. At the moment the Parties and all interested persons are invited to submit their views on the revision of the joint implementation guidelines to the Secretariat by 16 April 2012. The Secretariat shall compile those submissions into a synthesis report and shall make the report publicly available by 31 July 2012. Further fate of the JI and its revision will be considered at the 8th session of the Conference of the Parties serving as the Meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol to be held at the end of 2012.

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The original publication date for this article was 21/12/2011.