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After Durban, what Legal Form for the Future International Climate Regime?


Sandrine Maljean-Dubois, Matthieu Wemaëre

The first commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol is due to expire at the end of 2012, but no commitments have been adopted to date for a second period. Discussions about the fate of the climate regime beyond 2012 were supposed to end in 2009, in order to avoid a gap between the first and second commitment periods. But neither the Copenhagen climate summit (2009), nor the Cancun conference (2010) resulted in conclusion of a deal. They did not yield answer about the divisive issues of legal form and architecture of the future international climate regime. The Durban Conference (2011) no longer was able to avoid addressing these thorny issues. At the very end of the summit, a compromise was reached following long and difficult negotiations. Parties decided to extend the Kyoto Protocol through a second commitment period and launch a new round of negotiations under the Convention in order to adopt a more inclusive and ambitious international climate regime to be implemented from 2020.


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