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The UNFCCC after Durban: recognising limitations and calling for a multi-track approach to climate multilateralism and action

The Durban Climate Change Conference held last December 2011 had all the elements of a highly charged political drama: global leaders in a high-stakes game to save the world, the palatable tension over clashing interests, claims of sabotage and backdoor deals juxtaposed with impassioned demonstrations and panicky news blitzes, the climax into near-chaos, the last-ditch effort for compromise now known as the ‘huddle’, and, of course, the miraculous ‘save’. Then ominously, though probably anticipated, big questions emerge as the screen fades to black. This paper published by the Foundation for International Environmental Law and Development (FIELD) analyses the outcomes of Durban and calls for a new approach to climate multilateralism which will incentivise climate change solutions and build momentum towards the 2020 agreement.