Editor's note:As countries are hoping to negotiate an extension to the Kyoto Protocol, which runs until at least 2020, at the ongoing UN Climate Conference in Doha, China Daily asked four experts to give their expectations for the key meeting:
I have five expectations for the Doha conference.
All parties come up with clear commitment and implementable plans and arrangements on how to continue the second commitment period under the Kyoto Protocol.
Those developed countries that don't join the protocol should make a comparable commitment as "role models". Otherwise, developing countries won't have the confidence to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Though negotiations under the long-term cooperative action working group won't reach a complete consensus, issues such as long-term goals and how the funds should be used can be transferred to the Durban platform for further discussion.
The Durban platform should be launched smoothly. Otherwise, we will encounter greater obstacles in reaching a global legally binding agreement before 2015.
When it comes to the funding issue, developed countries should take the action they've promised in the past. So far, many pledges remain void and many funds still lack money.
There should be progress on all these five aspects.
One of the main sticking points at the conference could be the implementation period of the second commitment period under the Kyoto Protocol, which is until 2017, as small island countries have called for, or until 2020, as the European Union has proposed. Another sticking point could be the emission reduction obligations and responsibilities of developed countries after 2012.
I think the negotiations on the second commitment period under the Kyoto Protocol may come to an imperfect conclusion at the Doha conference, with insufficient commitments made by developed countries, not enough countries signing up to the protocol, and an unclear ending date of the second commitment period under the protocol.
Many developed countries may not want to be involved with the second commitment period and will strive to conduct climate change negotiations under the Durban platform. By doing so, they may avoid making any commitment before 2020, which would be disappointing.
Director of the Institute for Urban and Environmental Studies
Chinese Academy of Social Sciences
I think the Doha meeting is a meeting in transition. Climate change talks have lasted for so many years and old commitments haven't been honored, while discussions on long-term action after 2020 have started.
Looking back at Copenhagen and Cancun, the public was counting on these international negotiations to spur all nations to slash emissions, but now we need to adjust our expectations. We cannot merely look to the negotiations to address climate change without boosting domestic action.
The vital focus of the meeting includes extending the Kyoto Protocol with substantial efforts on emission reduction, securing funding for the Green Climate Fund, and drawing up a working plan for the new global climate treaty.
Some developed countries previously agreed to reduce their emissions by 25 to 40 percent by 2020, but that figure is rarely mentioned. Many commitments were made but there has been no implementation. We need more powerful and sufficient efforts to slash emissions. There must be a working plan to make up the gap between politics and science.
The coverage and emission targets of the second commitment period under the protocol must be arranged at Doha. So far, Canada, Japan and New Zealand have rejected the second period, so bodies like the EU should play a key role in pushing forward the process. Besides, the continuation of the protocol is pivotal in terms of setting standards for the carbon market.
For China, it's important to synergize the international negotiations with domestic policy planning. According to the current timetable, if a global treaty could be reached in 2015 and come into effect in 2020, that could be integrated with China's future Five-Year Plans, the structural reform of China energy mix, and China's planning for its carbon market. China needs to move forward at a concerted pace with the international community.
----- Li Yan
Greenpeace East Asia climate and energy campaign manager
Doha is an important stage, but surely not the end of international climate change negotiations. It's unlikely that all problems can be solved in Doha. The significance of the Doha talks is in making appropriate arrangements on remaining issues before starting a new round of talks.
The emission reductions set by developed countries are far from sufficient, and we need a regime to ensure developed countries take more action in the years to come. The issues could be solved if parties have the political will to do so.
Regarding the length of the second commitment period of the protocol, we think it should be eight years because it could then be linked with the existing 2020 targets.
Some small, developing island states think the period should be five years to push developed countries to take speedier action. Anyway, we hope technical issues won't affect the framework setting of the second commitment period of the protocol.
It's arguable that developed countries bear the major obligation and they should foot the bill for their unrestricted emissions in the 200 years of industrialization, which caused the surge in carbon intensity, a major cause leading to global warming.
Surely China needs to make more effort to transit to a low-carbon path, and recently the "beautiful China" concept and ecological progress have been highlighted. That's inspiring.
----- Su Wei
Chief climate negotiator and director-general of the Department of Climate Change
They could be regarded as a success if three standards are reached without a compromise, that is, they should be balanced, fair and pragmatic.
A balance should be achieved between developed and developing countries on their historic responsibilities but also the current and future scenario of greenhouse gas emissions. In addition, a balance should be reached among topics, including mitigation, adaptation, funding and capacity building.
However, even if we cannot reach a consensus on some issues this year, we should try and reach a global deal before 2015.
However, some developed countries think these principles are not so necessary in discussing the new global climate deal.
They also have different opinions on the function of the carbon market - some small, developing island nations and some developed countries think its function is limited and is not suitable for all countries.
How could the target be implemented? Should the length of the second commitment period be eight or five years? How could the framework include countries that declined to join the second commitment period and how to achieve a smooth transition between the two periods?
Some developed countries are in a rush to close the twin-track negotiations. Little progress has been made in recent negotiations.
Climate change talks are important for addressing climate change, but domestic efforts should also be highlighted.
Senior advisor on energy, environment and climate change
Natural Resources Defense Council