Assessment of key negotiating issues at Nairobi climate COP/MOP and what it means for the future of the climate regime

TitleAssessment of key negotiating issues at Nairobi climate COP/MOP and what it means for the future of the climate regime
Publication TypeTyndall Working Paper
SeriesTyndall Centre Working Papers
Tyndall Consortium Institution


Secondary TitleTyndall Centre Working Paper 106
KeywordsAssessment, climate regime, COP/MOP, future, key negotiating issues, Nairobi
AuthorsOkereke, C., P. Mann, and AJ Newsham
Year of Publication2007

The raison d’etre of this paper is to communicate some of the key issues discussed at the recent climate COP/MOP in Nairobi, which took place from 6-17 November 2006. The paper has been written as an aide memoire for scholars and policy makers, as an independent reference source of the “African COP/MOP”, in order to inform policy, as well as flagging some key issues of relevance for future research agendas. The paper does not attempt to provide a comprehensive account of all the issues discussed in Nairobi. Rather, the authors have focused on some of the more strategic discussion points, in particular those considered to have a particular bearing on a future climate regime in the post 2012 world. Around 5,900 people participated in the Nairobi gathering, compared with 9,500 for the previous COP/MOP in Montreal in 2005. This broke down as follows (with numbers from the Montreal COP/MOP in brackets for the purposes of comparison): 2,300 [2,800] government officials; over 2,800 [5800] representatives of UN bodies and agencies, intergovernmental organizations and non-governmental organizations, and 516 [817] accredited members of the media.1 The Montreal meeting was lauded at the time for the unprecedented participation by the private sector. While figures are not available, there was a feeling amongst many that fewer business representatives attended the Nairobi meeting. The reduction in overall numbers of attendees compared with the meeting the previous year might be attributed to the reduced expectation of most observers as to the likely outcome of the meeting compared with the one in Montreal. In addition, there was a perceived difficulty of traveling to Nairobi, as well as the anticipation by some that the meeting organization may be lacking. In the event, however, it was generally recognized that the host authorities provided a high level of organization and a warm African welcome. Many had branded the Nairobi meeting in advance as a ‘holding COP/MOP’. Indeed the media largely represented the meeting as such after the event, with a common characterization being that little concrete progress had been made. A more nuanced view might be that progress was made in some important areas, for example adaptation was brought to the fore, while some limited confidence building was also achieved on post 2012 mitigation. Nevertheless, some progress was made in the formal sessions towards a post 2012 mitigation regime. In Nairobi there was widespread recognition that a post 2012 agreement needs to be more ambitious than the 1st commitment period. However it appeared that most parties were not ready to set out their negotiating stalls in public at this stage, preferring to gain a sense of the position of other parties, in preparation for the real negotiation, whenever that may be.

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