Alternative Legal Outcomes

Briefing paper

Date produced: 19/07/2010

This paper considers, at a very high level, the possible legal outcomes that might eventually arise out
of the AWG-LCA and AWG-KP tracks and some of the legal and technical issues these outcomes will

Although there may be alternatives, this paper focuses on the following five potential outcomes:

  • Single new protocol under the UNFCCC (the “Convention”);
  • Expanded Kyoto Protocol, covering obligations and commitments of all parties;
  • Two protocols ┬íV the Kyoto Protocol and a new protocol under the Convention;
  • Extended Kyoto Protocol and COP decisions under the LCA track; and
  • Building on the Copenhagen Accord.

The form of the outcome is important as it has implications for the existence of the current mechanisms and institutions established under the Convention and the Kyoto Protocol. Additionally, the “legal form” of the outcome of the LCA track has become a controversial issue in the negotiations since many countries do not want to be bound to its provisions under international law This paper also considers the mandates that need to come out of Cancun to achieve these long term outcomes.