Canada: Drivers Needed: Mapping The Road To Global Climate Change Consensus

Last Updated: February 18 2008

Article by Selina Lee-Andersen, © 2008, Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP

Originally published in Blakes Bulletin on Environmental Law, February 2008

Seeking Global Consensus

From December 3 to 15, 2007, much of the world's attention was focused on Bali, Indonesia as the international community sought to hammer out a roadmap for a climate agreement that would replace the Kyoto Protocol as of 2012. The Bali meeting was the 13th conference of the parties (COP 13) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the third Conference of the Parties serving as the Meeting of Parties to the Kyoto Protocol (COP/MOP 3).

While the main negotiations centered around the future of the international climate regime in the post-2012 period, there were additional sessions held by the Subsidiary Body for Implementation, Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice (SBSTA), and the Ad Hoc Working Group on Further Commitments for Annex 1 Parties under the Kyoto Protocol (AWG). This update provides an overview of the major decisions adopted by COP 13 and COP/MOP 3.

Mapping The Post-2012 Strategy

After lengthy, and at times difficult, negotiations, the Bali conference ended on a high note with the establishment of a framework for negotiations to create an agreement that will replace the Kyoto Protocol in 2012. While the final agreement reached by the international community falls short of a concrete commitment to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions of 25-40% by 2020 as proposed by the European Union, the negotiations are widely viewed as a success because it heralds the return of the U.S. to the international climate bargaining table for the first time since it withdrew from the Kyoto process in March 2001.

The Bali Action Plan was adopted by COP 13 and is accompanied by a series of COP/MOP 3 decisions. The Bali Action Plan establishes a two-track process (under the UNFCCC and the Kyoto Protocol) to identify the elements of a post-2012 global climate regime for adoption at the COP 15 and COP/MOP 5 in Copenhagen in 2009. Work under the UNFCCC track will be carried out by the Ad Hoc Working Group on Long-term Cooperative Action and work under the Kyoto Protocol track relating to new commitments for Annex 1 parties will be continued by the AWG.

While the Bali Action Plan did not introduce binding commitments to reduce GHG emissions, it does include a proposal for developed countries to facilitate the transfer of technology to developing countries in order to enhance access to environmentally sound technologies and support the global community's mitigation and adaptation strategy. In addition, the Bali Action Plan includes commitments to enhance co-operation for technology development and access to financial resources in respect of mitigation and adaptation efforts.

In addition, the following issues were addressed:

Adaptation Fund. COP/MOP 3 adopted a decision on the operational aspects of the Adaptation Fund, which is designed to support adaptation projects in developing countries. The Adaptation Fund will be initially managed by the Global Environment Facility (GEF) and will be reviewed in three years' time.

Technology Transfer. COP 13 adopted two decisions on the transfer of technology to developing countries. The first decision reconstituted the Export Group on Technology Transfer and identified a series of actions directed at improving the financing of environmental technology development in developing countries. The second decision requested the preparation of a strategic program by GEF to foster financial investments in technology transfer and set forth a series of performance indicators to monitor progress and developments in this area.

Reducing emissions from deforestation in developing countries (REDD). COP 13 agreed on the need to take action on this matter as the fight against deforestation in developing countries was not addressed in the Kyoto Protocol. The SBSTA was urged to develop a work plan in relation to the estimation of emissions from deforestation and forest degradation in developing countries, as well as conservation and the sustainable management of forests.

Clean Development Mechanism (CDM). COP/MOP 3 provided further specifications on the implementation of CDM projects, covering governance issues, methodologies, regional participation and resources under the CDM.

Joint Implementation (JI). COP/MOP 3 discussed a number of measures designed to improve the attractiveness of JI projects.

In the area of emissions trading, there are indications that following the Bali conference, participants in the carbon market are feeling more confident that the global trading of emissions reductions will thrive after 2012. This is due to the increased certainty provided by the Bali Action Plan and broad agreement at the Bali conference that there should be mandatory caps once the Kyoto Protocol expires.

As part of the consensus, Canada has committed to engaging with the international community to negotiate a new global climate change treaty by 2009. The federal government continues to favour non-binding targets over a lengthy time horizon. What that time horizon is remains uncertain; however, any suggestion for binding reductions before 2020 were strongly rebuffed by Canada.

With opposition against binding targets from countries including Canada, the U.S., Japan and New Zealand, the road to achieving meaningful cuts in global emissions will be a difficult one. Adding to the uncertainty is the lingering prospect of a federal election, which could fundamentally alter Canada's approach to climate change with the election of a new government. Whatever happens on Canada's political scene, the global community will continue to forge ahead with a new post-Kyoto agreement and Canada will need to continue making progress towards its international commitments. No doubt, Canada's eye will be on its U.S. neighbour to gauge the extent and scope of U.S. emission reduction policies, particularly with a change of U.S. administration around the corner.

For the first time in years, there is optimism among climate-challenged nations for the prospect of a binding international commitment involving the U.S. However, the international community appears more fractured than ever between the developed and developing countries, and those countries that seek ambitious binding targets versus those that would prefer non-binding commitments and vague action. As a result, future negotiations will need to reconcile a host of concerns, from technology transfer and climate adaptation to the scope and level of binding commitments.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

Events from this Firm
27 Oct 2016, Seminar, Toronto, Canada

Please join members of the Blakes Commercial Real Estate group as they discuss five key provisions of a commercial real estate purchase agreement that are often the subject of much negotiation but are sometimes misunderstood.

1 Nov 2016, Seminar, Toronto, Canada

What is the emotional culture of your organization?

Every organization and workplace has an emotional culture that can have an impact on everything from employee performance to customer or client satisfaction.

3 Nov 2016, Seminar, Toronto, Canada

Join leading lawyers from the Blakes Pensions, Benefits & Executive Compensation group as they discuss recent updates and legal developments in pension and employee benefits law as well as strategies to identify and minimize common risks.

In association with
Related Video
Up-coming Events Search
Font Size:
Mondaq on Twitter
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).
Email Address
Company Name
Confirm Password
Mondaq Topics -- Select your Interests
 Law Performance
 Law Practice
 Media & IT
 Real Estate
 Wealth Mgt
Asia Pacific
European Union
Latin America
Middle East
United States
Worldwide Updates
Check to state you have read and
agree to our Terms and Conditions

Terms & Conditions and Privacy Statement (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd and as a user you are granted a non-exclusive, revocable license to access the Website under its terms and conditions of use. Your use of the Website constitutes your agreement to the following terms and conditions of use. Mondaq Ltd may terminate your use of the Website if you are in breach of these terms and conditions or if Mondaq Ltd decides to terminate your license of use for whatever reason.

Use of

You may use the Website but are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the content and articles available (the Content). You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these terms & conditions or with the prior written consent of Mondaq Ltd. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information about’s content, users or contributors in order to offer them any services or products which compete directly or indirectly with Mondaq Ltd’s services and products.


Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the documents and related graphics published on this server for any purpose. All such documents and related graphics are provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers hereby disclaim all warranties and conditions with regard to this information, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. In no event shall Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use or performance of information available from this server.

The documents and related graphics published on this server could include technical inaccuracies or typographical errors. Changes are periodically added to the information herein. Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers may make improvements and/or changes in the product(s) and/or the program(s) described herein at any time.


Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including what sort of information you are interested in, for three primary purposes:

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, newsletter alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our information providers who provide information free for your use.

Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) do not sell or provide your details to third parties other than information providers. The reason we provide our information providers with this information is so that they can measure the response their articles are receiving and provide you with information about their products and services.

If you do not want us to provide your name and email address you may opt out by clicking here .

If you do not wish to receive any future announcements of products and services offered by Mondaq by clicking here .

Information Collection and Use

We require site users to register with Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to view the free information on the site. We also collect information from our users at several different points on the websites: this is so that we can customise the sites according to individual usage, provide 'session-aware' functionality, and ensure that content is acquired and developed appropriately. This gives us an overall picture of our user profiles, which in turn shows to our Editorial Contributors the type of person they are reaching by posting articles on Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) – meaning more free content for registered users.

We are only able to provide the material on the Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) site free to site visitors because we can pass on information about the pages that users are viewing and the personal information users provide to us (e.g. email addresses) to reputable contributing firms such as law firms who author those pages. We do not sell or rent information to anyone else other than the authors of those pages, who may change from time to time. Should you wish us not to disclose your details to any of these parties, please tick the box above or tick the box marked "Opt out of Registration Information Disclosure" on the Your Profile page. We and our author organisations may only contact you via email or other means if you allow us to do so. Users can opt out of contact when they register on the site, or send an email to with “no disclosure” in the subject heading

Mondaq News Alerts

In order to receive Mondaq News Alerts, users have to complete a separate registration form. This is a personalised service where users choose regions and topics of interest and we send it only to those users who have requested it. Users can stop receiving these Alerts by going to the Mondaq News Alerts page and deselecting all interest areas. In the same way users can amend their personal preferences to add or remove subject areas.


A cookie is a small text file written to a user’s hard drive that contains an identifying user number. The cookies do not contain any personal information about users. We use the cookie so users do not have to log in every time they use the service and the cookie will automatically expire if you do not visit the Mondaq website (or its affiliate sites) for 12 months. We also use the cookie to personalise a user's experience of the site (for example to show information specific to a user's region). As the Mondaq sites are fully personalised and cookies are essential to its core technology the site will function unpredictably with browsers that do not support cookies - or where cookies are disabled (in these circumstances we advise you to attempt to locate the information you require elsewhere on the web). However if you are concerned about the presence of a Mondaq cookie on your machine you can also choose to expire the cookie immediately (remove it) by selecting the 'Log Off' menu option as the last thing you do when you use the site.

Some of our business partners may use cookies on our site (for example, advertisers). However, we have no access to or control over these cookies and we are not aware of any at present that do so.

Log Files

We use IP addresses to analyse trends, administer the site, track movement, and gather broad demographic information for aggregate use. IP addresses are not linked to personally identifiable information.


This web site contains links to other sites. Please be aware that Mondaq (or its affiliate sites) are not responsible for the privacy practices of such other sites. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of these third party sites. This privacy statement applies solely to information collected by this Web site.

Surveys & Contests

From time-to-time our site requests information from users via surveys or contests. Participation in these surveys or contests is completely voluntary and the user therefore has a choice whether or not to disclose any information requested. Information requested may include contact information (such as name and delivery address), and demographic information (such as postcode, age level). Contact information will be used to notify the winners and award prizes. Survey information will be used for purposes of monitoring or improving the functionality of the site.


If a user elects to use our referral service for informing a friend about our site, we ask them for the friend’s name and email address. Mondaq stores this information and may contact the friend to invite them to register with Mondaq, but they will not be contacted more than once. The friend may contact Mondaq to request the removal of this information from our database.


This website takes every reasonable precaution to protect our users’ information. When users submit sensitive information via the website, your information is protected using firewalls and other security technology. If you have any questions about the security at our website, you can send an email to

Correcting/Updating Personal Information

If a user’s personally identifiable information changes (such as postcode), or if a user no longer desires our service, we will endeavour to provide a way to correct, update or remove that user’s personal data provided to us. This can usually be done at the “Your Profile” page or by sending an email to

Notification of Changes

If we decide to change our Terms & Conditions or Privacy Policy, we will post those changes on our site so our users are always aware of what information we collect, how we use it, and under what circumstances, if any, we disclose it. If at any point we decide to use personally identifiable information in a manner different from that stated at the time it was collected, we will notify users by way of an email. Users will have a choice as to whether or not we use their information in this different manner. We will use information in accordance with the privacy policy under which the information was collected.

How to contact Mondaq

You can contact us with comments or queries at

If for some reason you believe Mondaq Ltd. has not adhered to these principles, please notify us by e-mail at and we will use commercially reasonable efforts to determine and correct the problem promptly.