Before the conference：
The future of the Kyoto Protocol-most contentious and least likely to be resolved
1) Another try, but under fire from some quarters
Many of the criticisms are members of the U.S. Congress who doubt human influence on the climate and ridicule international efforts to address it. But the IPCC, which is the global body of scientists and statisticians, provides the technical underpinning of the U.N. talks and scientists think actions are surely coming.
2) IPCC warns : take action rapidly
A few weeks before the conference, the panel released a detailed assessment of the increasing frequency of extreme climate events. The director of the IPCC says: “I am afraid deliberations at the COP would only focus on short-term political considerations.” and call for actions.
3) The stakes are beyond monumental，but delegates concentrate on a small part
Critics point out the delegates in Durban will be addressing relatively small and, to many people, arcane, questions of process and finance.
4) Some major countries say no to an extension
Canada, Japan and Russia, say they will not agree to an extension unless it is fundamentally changed to remove the unbalanced requirements for developing and developed countries.
5) China and India should take actions equally
The position of above is similar to the U.S., which is that any successor treaty must apply equally to all major economies, including fast-growing developing countries like China and India. The United States is not a party to the protocol, having refused to even consider ratifying it because of those asymmetrical obligations.
6) EU and developing countries would like to see the Kyoto process extended
The European Union, the major developing countries, and most African and Pacific island nations would like to see the Kyoto process extended as a prelude to a binding international agreement after 2020 to reduce emissions so as to keep the average global temperature from ever rising more than 2 degrees Celsius, or about 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit, above its current level.
7) The United States has been criticized for years
The United States has been criticized at these gatherings for years, in part because of its rejection of the Kyoto framework and in part because it has not adopted a comprehensive domestic program for reducing its own greenhouse gas emissions. United States emissions（2010） are down about 6 percent over the past five years, largely because of the drop in industrial and electricity production caused by the recession.
During the conference：
1) No lawmaker，no member of Congress and President Obama's cabinet, and few heads of states attend.
2) modest accomplishments—Green Climate Fund and a new global treaty
The event wrapped up early Sunday (2011/12/11) morning with modest accomplishments: the promise to work toward a new global treaty in coming years and the establishment of a new climate fund. Green Climate Fund would help mobilize a promised $100 billion a year in public and private funds by 2020 to assist developing nations in adapting to climate change and converting to clean energy sources.
3) developing countries especially China become a target
China still is classified as a developing country and is thus exempt from any emissions limits, but it has a vastly larger economy than it had in 1992 and recently surpassed the United States as the world’s largest emitter of greenhouse gases.
4) the position of U.S.
The United States is determined to sweep away those distinctions between developing countries and industrial countries, and work toward a system where all countries are bound by the same rules.
5) India reject an unqualified binding deal: ”Please don’t hold us hostage.”
"I'm wondering if there is an effort here to shift the burden of this entire climate-change problem on countries who have not contributed to this entire issue," India's environment minister, Jayanthi Natarajan, said in an impassioned statement to the entire conference, as she rejected an unqualified binding deal. "Please don't hold us hostage."
6) the position of China
China should be legally obligated to curb greenhouse gas emissions after 2020."We accept a legally binding arrangement," Xie Zhenhua said China would agree to binding cuts only if the U.S. and other powerful nations take aggressive steps in the next decade to address climate change and some key negotiators wondered whether China was throwing down the gauntlet to shift pressure on to Western countries to address climate change. "It's time for us to see who is acting in a responsible way."
After the conference:
1) details left
The decision to move toward a new treaty was hard-won, after 72 hours of continuous wrangling. But for now it remains merely a pledge, and all details remain to be negotiated. Negotiators also left for another day the precise sources of the money for the fund and how and by who it would be disbursed.
2) politics is what really at play
The relations, among Europe, the United States, Canada, Japan and three rapidly rising economic powers, China, India and Brazil, are driven by each country’s domestic politics and the strains the global financial crisis has put on all of them. And the question of “climate equity” — the obligations of rich nations to help poor countries cope with a problem they had no part in creating — is more than an “environmental” issue.
3) Limited agreement
The conclusion of the meeting was marked by exhaustion and explosions of temper, and the result was muddled and unsatisfying to many. Observers and delegates said that the actions taken at the meeting, while sufficient to keep the negotiating process alive, would not have a significant impact on climate change.
4) The poor future of the climate talks
“The reality is that there is no more agreement on the future of the climate talks than there was when negotiators first convened two weeks ago,” said Michael A. Levi, a climate change and energy fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York. “Europe will continue to insist on a full-blown legally binding agreement; China and India will continue to oppose one; and the United States, while leaving the door open to an agreement that is binding for all, will continue to be unenthusiastic as well. These positions are largely rooted in incompatible views of the future, and there is no reason to believe that more talking will change them.”
5) U.S. Envoy is satisfied with the result
The senior American climate change envoy, Todd D. Stern said: "I think this has ended up being quite a significant agreement and very much along the lines of what we’ve been pushing. That was not fully expected when we went in." “Not only did Durban not undo the progress made in Cancún, it built upon it, and moved forward,” Mr. Stavins, director of the environmental economics program at Harvard University, said in a blog post at the end of the meeting. “In the real world of international negotiations on this exceptionally difficult global commons problem, this is what success looks like.”
6) Sounds of smaller countries: This is a very bad agreement.
The urgency of the problem of climate change demanded a shorter time line for action and the deal could be easily ignored by major economies responsible for mass emissions. The U.S. helped design the agreement, but Congress failed to ratify it precisely because those major developing countries didn't have to check their emissions as well. The version of the agreement that emerged contained the phrase "legal force"—a broader term that is seen as offering governments more leeway to identify how to curb emissions.