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Can Attention to the Process Improve the Efficiency of the UNFCCC Negotiations?

Antto Vihma, Kati Kulovesi


While many are hopeful that the mandate under the Durban Platform for Enhanced Action to negotiate a new legal instrument applicable to all Parties from 2020 marks a new era in international climate policy, the beginning of the journey has not been an easy one. Indeed, with political stakes higher than before, it seems that the UN climate change negotiations will face considerable procedural hurdles also in the future. The UNFCCC regime has also gone through significant evolution on the institutional front in recent years. Notably, several limited membership bodies have been created, arguably increasing continuity in the process by ensuring more frequent and detailed consideration of issues such as adaptation, finance and technology. In light of these developments, this paper focuses on the efficiency of the UNFCCC negotiations, discussing proposals to streamline the negotiating process under the Conference of the Parties and its subsidiary bodies, the role of the Presidency and ministerial involvement, and the potential of the Limited Membership Bodies to expedite work under the UNFCCC.


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