Arctic Yearbook 2015 - Page 414

414 Arctic Yearbook 2015 addressing each of these questions, we will provide a short overview of what the Paris Climate Conference is expected to deliver. What can one expect from the Paris climate conference? The Paris climate conference is the final step in a four-years long negotiating process that was initiated to address some of the policy gaps left by the failure of the Copenhagen conference. The conference is expected to result in a package outcome building on four main elements that will define the response to climate change for the years to come (Boyd et al. 2015: 7). Firstly, governments are finalizing the drafting of a new agreement setting a new framework for climate cooperation. Contrary to its predecessor, the 1997 Kyoto Protocol, this new agreement is expected to involve actively all countries and to address both the reduction of greenhouse gases emissions as well as issues related to climate adaptation. Secondly, all governments are requested to provide a national contribution highlighting the domestic policies and targets in relation to low-carbon development and – for most countries – to climate resilience. Thirdly, the conference will offer an opportunity for developed countries to confirm how they intend to support financially developing countries struggling with climate impacts or intending to implement drastic cuts in their carbon emissions. Fourthly, local governments and private entities are invited to join the momentum for climate action by offering their own voluntary commitments to those of national governments. By building on self-defined targets and voluntary commitments, this package approach constitutes a shift from the previous rounds of climate negotiations and from the model that underpinned the Kyoto Protocol. The current negotiations build from the premise that governments are not yet willing to take sufficient action to prevent a dangerous increase of temperatures but that a new agreement promoting transparency, financial and technological support and participation by all actors might help to increase incrementally this collective ambition. How has the Arctic been addressed so far by two decades of climate negotiations? The Paris conference will be another milestone in a process initiated in 1992 with the adoption of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). Since then governments have continuously worked under the aegis of the United Nations to foster international cooperation on the What Role for the Arctic in COP-21?