The UNFCCC after Durban: recognizing 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 is divided into two parts. First, summarize the results of the Durban Climate Change Conference and the broad implications of the Durban Platform. Then briefly raise a call for a multi-track approach towards climate multilateralism and action.