The UN climate summit concluded on 11 December 2011, with an agreement to launch a new process called the Durban Platform for Enhanced Action. This will aim ‘to develop a protocol, another legal instrument or an agreed outcome with legal force’ by 2015, and is expected to bind all countries to taking the highest possible mitigation action efforts from 2020.
The EU got the ‘roadmap’ it was looking for, and in return it has signed up to a second commitment period under the Kyoto Protocol, along with several other developed countries. Crucially, the Durban Platform refers to ‘all Parties’ rather than making the distinction between developed and developing countries. This is perhaps the biggest shift from the decisions taken in Bali in 2007 and in Rio in 1992, as major emerging economies will be expected to take significant steps to regulate emissions in the future.