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KPMG: Negotiating a global climate deal is a slow business.

By Rob Starr, Content Manager,

KPMG’s Sustainable Insight paper, entitled Will Doha deliver a deal?, predicted problems with the commitment made at the 2011 UN conference in Durban, South Africa. Focusing on implications for the business community, the paper also looked the next round of UN climate talks, COP 18, which took place in Doha, Qatar from 26 November to 7 December 20.

The paper identifies three important gaps KPMG says the 2012 climate talks must address to address the concerns of business:


  1. The Kyoto Gap: the fate of the Kyoto Protocol is still unclear after being abandoned by Japan, Russia, Canada and New Zealand. The treaty was never ratified by the US.
    “Agreement on a new commitment period matters because it gives business certainty about the direction of travel for policy in the long term. Knowing that governments have committed to carbon reduction targets gives companies the confidence to take their own actions,” said de Boer.
  2. The Ambition Gap: it is clear that current international commitments to reduce carbon emissions are insufficient to restrict average temperature rises to 2 degrees Celsius, the maximum “safe” rise recommended by most climate scientists.  Businesses will be watching the outcome of Doha closely to see what new commitments emerge, whether they will mean companies are required to take on more stringent targets and whether new opportunities in low-carbon sectors will be created.
  3. The Finance Gap: agreement was reached in Durban on the Green Climate Fund to support low carbon transition in developing countries, but negotiators have only just agreed where its headquarters will be – in South Korea – and it is still not clear where the US$100 billion a year will come from.

Yvo de Boer, KPMG’s Special Advisor on Climate Change & Sustainability, warned that negotiating a global deal is a slow, frustrating business.



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