Elliot Diringer's Statement on Doha Climate Talks

Statement of Elliot Diringer
Executive Vice President
Center for Climate and Energy Solutions

December 8, 2012

The Doha deal is unfortunately the best we can hope for at this stage. This is the first year of a four-year negotiation, and what was most important was moving the process forward. This agreement does that.

The countries most vulnerable to the rising toll of climate change understandably pushed hard for more. But it was clear coming into Doha that the major economies were not ready to commit to stronger emission cuts and there would be little new money on the table. We can't expect strong new commitments until 2015, the deadline the parties have set for a comprehensive new deal.

Keeping Kyoto alive for now was essential politically but is merely a bridge to a more balanced agreement in 2015. The fact that it was so hard to achieve even Doha's modest steps underscores how tough it will be to deliver a truly meaningful accord in three years. It's also a reminder that we can hardly rely on the UN process alone to mobilize strong global action. We need to ramp up efforts in other multilateral forums too and, most especially, at the domestic level. International agreements work only if countries have the domestic policies needed to deliver on them. Putting those policies in place remains the highest priority.

It's disappointing the United States was not in a position in Doha to credibly claim that it's on track to meeting President Obama's emissions pledge. An ambitious and durable deal in 2012 will be possible only with stronger U.S. engagement. The administration should move forward right away with sensible rules to cut power plant emissions. And Congress should seriously consider a carbon tax as part of a broader solution to the country's mounting fiscal challenges.

Contact Laura Rehrmann to arrange interviews, or 703-516-0621

About C2ES
The Center for Climate and Energy Solutions (C2ES) is an independent nonprofit, nonpartisan organization promoting strong policy and action to address the twin challenges of energy and climate change. Launched in November 2011, C2ES is the successor to the Pew Center on Global Climate Change. Learn more at

Not yet on track to 17 percent reduction

With the latest round of international climate change talks underway in Doha this week, it’s a good time to check in on the United States’ pledge, made three years in Copenhagen, to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 17 percent below 2005 levels by 2020.  Are we on track to meet that?

The short answer: Not yet. But projections depend on assumptions, so let’s look at a few recent projections.

C2ES to Present New Study of Multilateral Climate Options at Doha Talks

Press Release

November 28, 2012

Contact: Laura Rehrmann at


                                                                           C2ES TO PRESENT NEW STUDY OF MULTILATERAL CLIMATE OPTIONS AT DOHA TALKS

Analysis Outlines Issues and Alternatives for a 2015 Agreement


The Center for Climate and Energy Solutions (C2ES) released a new report today outlining major issues and options before the world’s governments as they attempt to craft a comprehensive new climate change agreement by 2015.

International law expert Daniel Bodansky, the report’s author, will draw on the analysis in a presentation Saturday in Doha at a Special Event organized by the co-chairs of the new negotiating round launched last year in Durban.  Bodansky, an Arizona State University law professor, will also present the report December 5 at a C2ES side event in Doha.  (See event details below).

The new C2ES report analyzes issues under the Durban Platform for Enhanced Action, in which parties to the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) set a 2015 deadline for negotiating a new agreement to start in 2020.  The report reviews past efforts under the UNFCCC in assessing options for a new agreement.

“We’ve now tried both a binding top-down approach and a voluntary bottom-up approach, and neither has delivered the strong global effort we need,” said C2ES Executive Vice President Elliot Diringer.  “The Durban Platform talks are a chance to draw on the best of both approaches to create a more effective and durable agreement.”

The paper, titled “The Durban Platform: Issues and Options for a 2015 Agreement,” contrasts the more top-down approach taken in the legally binding Kyoto Protocol with the parallel voluntary framework established under the 2010 Cancún Agreements.  Formal adoption of a new round of emission reduction targets under the Kyoto Protocol is among the issues to be decided in Doha.

The report identifies three broad options under the Durban Platform: an expanded Kyoto-like approach, legalization of the Cancún architecture, and a multi-track approach in which countries can choose among different tracks.

“In designing a new agreement, parties can draw both on their concrete experiences in the UNFCCC and approaches taken in other multilateral arenas,” said Professor Bodansky.  “The trick is arriving at an approach that enables both strong commitments and broad participation.”

Professor Bodansky has authored or co-authored  previous C2ES reports, including “Multilateral Climate Efforts Beyond the UNFCCC,” “The Evolution of Multilateral Regimes: Implications for Climate Change,” and “Towards an Integrated Multi-Track Climate Framework.”

C2ES also released a second report, “Market-Based Climate Mitigation Policies in Emerging Economies,” summarizing climate-related policies adopted or under consideration in Brazil, China, India, South Africa and South Korea. The report, by C2ES International Fellows Sara Moarif and Namrata Patodia Rastogi, focuses on market-based policies including trading systems, taxes, and different forms of subsidies.

C2ES Executive Vice President Elliot Diringer is available for interviews about the talks, what to hope for, and what to expect. Email to arrange interviews.


Special Event Dec. 1 in Doha

Professor Daniel Bodansky is one of two non-party experts invited by the Co-Chairs of the Ad Hoc Working Group on the Durban Platform for Enhanced Action to present on the contours of a 2015 agreement.  The event, which will include remarks by UNFCCC Executive Christiana Figueres, is set for 1-2 p.m. in the Qatar National Conference Centre (room TBA).


C2ES Side Event - The Durban Platform: Issues and Options for a 2015 Agreement

What: A discussion of the new C2ES analysis of issues and options for a 2015 agreement under the Durban Platform.

When: Wednesday, December 5, from 8:15-9:45 p.m.

Where: Side Event Room 8.


Dan Bodansky, Lincoln Professor of Law, Ethics and Sustainability, Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law, Arizona State University

H.E. Burghan Gafoor, Ambassador and Chief Negotiator for Climate Change, Singapore

Artur Runge-Metzger, Director, International and Climate Strategy, European Commission

H.E. Jo Tyndall, Climate Change Ambassador, New Zealand

Alfred Wills, Chief Negotiator – Climate Change, South Africa

Elliot Diringer, Executive Vice President, C2ES


C2ES Side Event - The Role of Global Corporations in Moving the Climate Needle

What: This panel, presented in coordination with the Dartmouth Tuck Business School, will examine how companies are exhibiting climate leadership today, and what would help push the private sector to move the needle further and faster.

When: Wednesday, November 28, from 8:15-9:45 p.m.

Where: Side Event Room 8.


Giles Dickson, Vice President, Environmental Policies & Global Advocacy, Alstom

David Hone, Senior Climate Change Advisor, Shell

Tim Juliani, Director of Corporate Engagement, C2ES

Professor Anant Sundaram, Tuck School of Business


About C2ES
The Center for Climate and Energy Solutions (C2ES) is an independent nonprofit, nonpartisan organization promoting strong policy and action to address the twin challenges of energy and climate change. Launched in November 2011, C2ES is the successor to the Pew Center on Global Climate Change.

The Durban Platform: Issues and Options for a 2015 Agreement

The Durban Platform: Issues and Options for a 2015 Agreement

December 2012

By Daniel Bodansky

Download the full brief (PDF)


The Durban Platform talks, aiming for a new global agreement in 2015, present an opportunity to assess and strengthen the international climate change effort. Since launching the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change two decades ago, governments have tried both "top down" and "bottom up" approaches. Neither has achieved the levels of participation or ambition needed to reverse the continued rise of global greenhouse gas emissions. Going forward, governments should draw on both models to forge a more effective global agreement.

Daniel Bodansky
Syndicate content