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Integrated agreement the only way to resolve climate change

By Darcy Gilligan - posted Friday, 22 November 2013

This conference is set to address a number of critical issues in international efforts to meet the global demand for action on climate change.

Arguably the most important issue up for discussion is the specific detail of the Durban Platform for Enhanced Action.

Despite the confusing name, the Durban Platform is quite a simple concept. In 2011, after a slew of disappointing or failed international agreements on climate change, parties agreed at the 2011 UN climate change conference in Durban to establish a new agreement by 2015, to be implemented in 2020.


This Durban Platform is unique and unlike any other international climate agreement in history. What makes the agreement so different is its application.

The Durban Platform has a mandate to establish a binding agreement, that is, an agreement that will legally bind countries party to the UN climate change conventions and, most importantly, that will be 'applicable to all'.

Australia supports so far the inclusion of some level of contractual obligations in the final agreement.

Almost every agreement reached so far in the UN climate talks' 20 year history has been limited in its application. Parties to the United Nations make a distinction between countries, categorising them as either 'developed' or 'developing'. Most agreements regarding climate action, specifically concerning emission reduction, have applied largely to developed countries.

In the past, developed countries such as Australia and the United States have largely taken the lead, in making commitments and implementing measures to lower emissions and shift to a more sustainable and responsible society

This new Durban Platform agreement will still take into account the capabilities of developing countries to institute climate action programs, as well as support them in the provision of the technological and financial resources require to do so.


With the 2015 Conference fast-approaching, one of the main issues at the Warsaw conference has been precisely what this 2015 agreement will look like.

What will be in the agreement, what will be specifically mentioned, the agreement's legal architecture, and the requirements of each party are still being hotly debated.

There is currently a split between parties on one particularly interesting issue, concerning what exact approach and form the agreement will take.

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Darcy Gilligan is a Global Voices Youth Delegate to the current UNFCCC.

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About the Author

Darcy Gilligan is a student at La Trobe University's Faculty of Humanities & Social Sciences and a Global Voices youth delegate to the current UNFCCC.

Creative Commons LicenseThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.

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