United Nations climate change negotiations: IIED at COP17

20 December 2011

Negotiators from nearly 200 governments gathered in Durban for the 2011 UN climate change summit. IIED was at the talks, sharing learning from our research, training journalists and providing analysis of the unfolding events.

COP17 in Durban: Executive Secretary of the UNFCCC Christiana Figueres and the President of COP17, South Africa's Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Maite Nkoana-Mashabane (Photo: Michael Mazengarb, Creative Commons via Flickr)

The 17th Conference of the Parties (COP17) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) took place in Durban from November 28 to December 11, 2011. The summit agreed to set up new negotiations to deliver a new and universal greenhouse gas reduction protocol by 2015 for the period beyond 2020. 

IIED researchers and staff were in Durban. We reported on the negotiations and worked with partners to organise a variety of side events. This page sets out some of IIED's work in relation to COP17.  

Video reports

IIED senior fellow Saleemul Huq provided daily video reports on the progress of the negotiations. His video update of December 7 summed up the main issues at the talks. 


COP17 workshop: making REDD+ deliver for everyoneMaking REDD+ deliver for everyone 

IIED organised a workshop on November 27 to look at how a scheme to prevent deforestation can deliver for people who depend on forests.

With deforestation and forest degradation being the third largest global contributor to greenhouse gas emissions, forests have an enormous role to play in any attempts to combat climate change.  The Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD) scheme is an effort to create a financial value for the carbon stored in forests. "REDD+" goes beyond deforestation and forest degradation, and includes a role for conservation, sustainable management of forests and enhancement of forest carbon stocks.

Our workshop featured a panel of speakers discussing their perspectives on how we can make REDD+ effective.  IIED's James Mayers blogged about the event


D&C DaysDevelopment & Climate Days 

The Development & Climate (D&C) Days event is organised by IIED and partners at every COP. It provides an informal space for politicians, scientists, NGO staff and practitioners to discuss key issues. 

The 2011 D&C Days programme focused on "evidence-based adaptation planning", with presentations covering issues such as how to generate robust evidence for informing transparent and participatory policy making under uncertainty.


The D&C Days film competition

The winner of this 2011 D&C Days film competition was Ripples: Climate Change and Disaster Management in Bangladesh, a film made by Soren Vestergaard Neilsen for RDRS Bangladesh.

Below is a playlist of ten shortlisted entries screened in Durban, beginning with the winning entry. Click 'next' to skip through the films or go to this page to view them separately. The films uploaded here are YouTube versions of the submitted competition-length films. 


Climate media partnershipThe Climate Change Media Partnership

The Climate Change Media Partnership (CCMP) is a joint initiative to improve media coverage of climate change. This year the CCMP awarded fellowships to journalists from 13 countries to enable them to attend the Durban COP. The 18 journalists – from Africa, Asia, Latin America, the Caribbean and the United States – reported on the negotiations and received training, editorial support and briefings from senior scientists.

A joint initiative between IIED, Internews and Panos London, the CCMP has has provided over 170 fellowships to enable journalists to attend and report on the UN climate change negotiations since 2007.


Climate Communications DayClimate communications day

IIED and Internews Earth Journalism Network, in partnership with other organizations, organised Climate Communications Day as an official parallel event at the Climate Summit. The day, on December 1st, brought together journalists, bloggers, press officers, academics and scientists, IT firms and other communications experts to exchange insights, learn lessons and innovative new approaches on how to spread news and information about climate change accurately and effectively.


Events timeline