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Durban Climate Summit: implications for Australia

19 December 2011

This policy brief explains the main outcomes of the latest UN climate negotiations in Durban, South Africa.

The talks produced significant progress and have important implications for Australia’s domestic climate change policies as we enter 2012 and head towards a legally binding agreement by 2015.

The 2011 Durban Climate Summit ended with the adoption of a set of 37 formal UN decisions dealing with a wide range of issues related to international cooperation on climate change.  Most importantly, it delivered important progress in three key areas:

  1. Agreement to negotiate a single, legally binding agreement by 2015 that will cover all major carbon pollution emitters including, most importantly, China, India and the United States;
  2. Establishment of the Green Climate Fund, building on the commitment made in Cancun to raise US$100 billion a year to help the world’s poorest nations invest in clean energy and manage the unavoidable impacts of climate change;
  3. Commitment from all countries to increase the level of ambition of national efforts to reduce pollution, building on the formal recognition that existing commitments are not enough to keep global warming below 2 °C or 1.5 °C above pre-industrial levels.