You are here: Home Policy United Nations Climate Change Conference in Doha

United Nations Climate Change Conference in Doha

Delegates from the United States and more than 190 other nations gathered in Doha, Qatar from November 26 to December 7, 2012 to continue work toward an international agreement to avert climate change.This page compiles reactions from US and international NGOs pertaining to the decisions made there.


Deciphering the Doha Outcome

Delegates from the United States and more than 190 other nations gathered in Doha, Qatar from November 26 to December 7, 2012 to continue work toward an international agreement to avert climate change. Read our Hotline blog about the outcome here or scroll below.

The Doha Gateway decisions included (summary from Climate Action Network-International):

• An extraordinarily weak outcome on climate finance which fails to put any money on the table or to ensure a pathway to the $100 billion a year by 2020 target. The decision asks for submissions from governments on long term finance pathways, calls for public funds for adaptation but does not mention a figure, and encourages developed countries to maintain funding at existing levels dependent on their economies.

The Doha Climate Negotiations Briefing Book

A straightforward guide to the complexities of the UNFCCC negotiations process and the role of the United States.

Click here to download the entire briefing book (pdf) and find:

- Need to Know Basics and Quick Guide to Doha

- Issue-specific Policy Briefs

- Latest Reports on Climate Action in the United States

Prepared by the US Climate Action Network and its partner organizations, the resource makes the complexities of global negotiations simpler to understand and follow. It is designed to help climate advocates, members of the US Congressional delegation, and reporters and editors, gain a clear understanding of the international treaty negotiating process.

The briefing book provides vital background material, reports on domestic and international climate action, technical background on the key negotiating issues and other valuable information.

• An eight-year second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol with loopholes that allow carry over, use and trading of “hot air” (Assigned Amount Units, or AAUs);

• A call--though not an official ambition ratchet mechanism--for Kyoto Protocol countries to review their emissions reduction target in line with the 25-40% range by 2014 at the latest. While it could have been stronger, the decision reinforces clear moral obligation for countries to increase their emission reduction targets prior to 2020 and provides opportunities for them to do so.

• An agreed work program on loss and damage to help victims of climate change will start immediately and a decision “to establish institutional arrangement, such as an international mechanism, at COP19”

From Durban to Doha

In Durban, countries agreed on a road map that, for the first time in the history of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), set up a process to negotiate a comprehensive and balanced legal instrument to avert climate change. The outcome of COP 17 was a success politically and revived confidence in the international negotiations. However, the outcomes of COP 17 fell short of adequately addressing current levels of ambition to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and the goal of restricting global warming to 2 degrees Celcius. Success in Doha would have meant considerably advancing the hard work of mitigating the impacts of climate change on our planet and its inhabitants, and accelerating a clean energy economy around the world.

Throughout the talks, US NGOs and the international community pressed the United States to come to the table with a better negotiating stance. Although the US was generally seen as obstructionist, there was a small shift by lead negotiator Todd Stern, who stated a willingness to discuss how to equitably share responsibility among countries for making the substantial post-2020 emissions reductions and laid out the need for more work for the US to meet its 17% emissions pledge.

Reactions from US and international NGOs indicated that the urgency of the concluding spectacle was clearly not reflected in the decisions themselves, although minimally they did lay a path for a way forward. Analyses thus far have deemed the decisions anywhere between a dismal failure and a modest outcome, but the consensus is that conclusions were clearly not sufficient for what the science is telling us is needed to address the worst impacts of human-induced climate change.

For the official UNFCCC Doha Climate Change Conference Documents, click here.

For more of the latest resources and materials please click on the tabs below:


Press Statements & Analysis

  • A “low ambition” outcome in Doha, Third World Network, 12.10.2012
  • As UN Climate COP World Turns, Real World Burns, The Nature Conservancy, 12.08.2012
  • Another Year of Inaction on Climate Ends in Doha, CAN-Europe, 12.08.2012
  • At Doha Climate Talks: Failed Ambition and Unfulfilled Promises, CIEL, 12.08.2012
  • UN Climate Talks Fail to Tackle Planetary Emergency, CARE International, 12.08.2012
  • No oasis for climate in Doha desert, Climate Action Network-International (CAN-I), 12.08.2012
  • Negotiators Spew More Hot Air at Climate Summit in Doha, Union of Concerned Scientists, 12.08.2012
  • UN climate talks extend Kyoto Protocol, promise compensation, BBC News, 12.08.2012
  • Doha Climate Negotiations Fail the Planet and World’s Poor, ActionAid-US, 12.08.2012
  • Climate change wins, the poorest bite Doha's dust, Coopération Internationale pour le Développement et la Solidarité (CIDSE), 12.08.2012
  • Warnings of climate science - again - written in Doha sand, Climate Analytics, PIK, & EcoFys, 12.08.2012
  • Doha Climate Talks Bury International Climate Action in the Desert, ActionAid-US, 12.08.2012
  • Another Disappointing Climate Meeting Draws to a Close, Mother Jones, 12.08.2012
  • Global Warming Negotations in Doha End with a Focus on Action at Home, NRDC, 12.08.2012
  • Doha climate talks eke out modest deal on Kyoto, new 2015 agreement, and climate loss, but consideration of many issues postponed to next year, Environmental Defense Fund, 12.08.2012
  • Host Country Press Releases
  • UN Climate Change Secretariat and World Economic Forum Launch Initiative to Support Climate Friendly Financing, United Nations Climate Change Secretariat, 12.07.2012
  • Climate Talks are on Brink of Collapse as Anger Rises Against Qatari Hosts, Business Insider, 12.06.2012
  • Russia Confirms Emissions Goals at Doha Climate Talks, RIA Novosti, 12.6.2012
  • Hope is Not a Strategy: US Youth Tell Obama We Can't Do This Alone - Climate Change Must Be a Priority in Second Term, SustainUS, 12.5.2012
  • Fiscal Cliff Worries Overshadow Qatar Climate Talks, Politico, 12.5.2012
  • The EU's 20% Target Reflects Neither Ambition Nor the Climate And Energy Policies They Are Developing, CAN Europe, 12.4.12
  • Doha Talks Show Need for Climate Action in Post-Sandy US, YES Magazine, 12.04.2012
  • Take Action Now on Climate Change 'Loss and Damage' 40+ Civil Society Organizations and Networks tell Negotiators as they Arrive in Doha, 12.4.2012
  • Doha Climate Conference Diary: Qatar's First Environmental March, the Guardian UK, 12.3.2012
  • The Road to a Climate Change Deal Goes Through Doha, Washington Post, 12.3.2012
  • Obama's Chance to Change (political) Climate, USA Today Op-ed, 12.2.2012
  • Doha March Heaps Pressure on Qatar to Make Climate Pledge, RTCC, 12.3.2012
  • New Zealand Slams Kyoto Extension, AP, 12.2.2012
  • Geoengineering Wins Scant Enthusiasm at UN Climate Talks, Reuters, 12.2.2012
  • Climate Gridlock Frustrating Envoys at UN Talks in Doha, Bloomberg, 11.30.2012
  • Should Rich Countries Pay for Climate Change 'Loss and Damage' ? Telegraph UK, 11.29.2012
  • Climate Change Talks Need US Support, Washington Post, 11.29.2012
  • The Climate Post (Doha updates)
  • 'We cannot sell the idea of equity back home' says US negotiator, DTE, 11.29.2012
  • Jim Salinger: Time NZ played its climate change part, even if its small, New Zealand Herald, 11.29.2012
  • Qatar Hosting Climate Talks Spotlights Climate Data Void, Bloomberg Businessweek, 11.29.2012
  • NGOs should be more 'ambitious' in promoting climate negotiations, China Daily, 11.29.2012
  • Obama Administration Fossil Fuel Subsidies Undermine Climate Talks, Pacific Environment, Sierra Club, Greenpeace, Oil Change International, Friends of the Earth, 11.28.2012
  • UN climate talks: Urgent shift in ambition needed to tackle climate change, CARE International, 11.27.2012
  • US defends 'enormous' climate efforts at UN talks, CBS, 11.26.2012
  • Talks on Climate 'Fiscal Cliff,' Associated Press, 11.25.2012
  • Qatar Hosts Climate Summit Amidst Criticism, Al Jazeera, 11.25.2012
  • Kyoto is Essential for a Successful Outcome in Doha, AOSIS, 11.25.2012
  • 2012 UN Climate Talks in Doha, Qatar Face Multiple Challenges, Associated Press, 11.25.2012
  • Arab Youth Offers Hope for Doha Climate Talks, Wael Hmaidan, Special to CNN, 11.28.2012
  • Doha Climate Talks Represent 'Golden Opportunity,' BBC News, 11.26.2012
  • UN Climate Talks Start in Doha, Washington Post, 11.26.2012
  • Will US Role at Climate Talks Change After Storm? USA Today, 12.8.2012
  • EU Member States Fail to Agree on Eliminating 13 Billion Kyoto Surplus, Squander Opportunity for Real Climate Action, CarbonMarkets Watch, 11.26.2012
  • UN Climate Talks Open in Qatar, TIME Magazine, 11.26.2012
  • Have something to add? Email Caroline Selle at
  • Blogs

    Quick Click Guide (Useful Links)

    Listed below are some helpful online tools and websites to follow during the negotiations.

    US Climate Action Network
    USCAN Facebook Page
    USCAN Twitter @USCAN

    Climate Action Network International
    CAN-I Facebook Page
    USCAN Twitter @CANIntl

    Official Home Page
    Host Country Website
    UNFCCC Facebook Page
    UNFCCC Twitter @UN_climatetalks
    UNFCCC Negotiator iPhone and iPad Application

    For More information on the UNFCCC Process and Foundational Documents See:
    UNFCCC Convention Text
    Kyoto Protocol Text
    Bali Action Plan Text
    IPCC AR4 Synthesis Report

    Early Submission of Information and Views, UNFCCC Calendar for Submissions

    History of UNFCCC
    UNFCCC: Handbook
    UNFCCC: Essential Background
    UNFCCC: Guide to the Process
    UNFCCC: Glossary

    Have something to add? Email Caroline Selle at

    CAN- I ECO Newsletter

    Fact Sheets, Reports, & Policy Papers


    Document Actions

    powered by Plone | site by Groundwire and served with clean energy