COP 18

The eighteenth session of the Conference of Parties (COP 18) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) was held from 26 November to 7 December 2012 in Doha, Qatar.

At COP 18, governments concluded the work that had begun in Bali in 2007 on Long-Term Cooperative Action under the Convention, and agreed on a firm timetable for the adoption of a universal climate change agreement by 2015, to come into force in 2020. A second commitment period to the Kyoto Protocol was also launched at COP 18, to continue as of 1 January 2013 for a period of eight years. As in the past, UN Women followed the negotiations and maintained active outreach to State Parties to ensure that decisions adopted incorporate references to gender equality, women’s rights and women’s contribution in climate change mitigation and adaptation.

A turning point for the consideration of gender equality issues in the UNFCCC context arrived with the adoption of a landmark decision (23/CP.18) on “Promoting gender balance and improving the participation of women in UNFCCC negotiations and in the representation of Parties in bodies established pursuant to the Convention or the Kyoto Protocol”. Hailed as the “Doha Miracle”, the decision constituted a critical step forward towards advancing gender-sensitive climate policy as it mandated the consideration of a standing agenda item on gender equality in the annual COPs. The decision also

  • adopted a goal of gender balance in bodies established under the Convention and the Kyoto Protocol and invited Parties to strive for gender balance in their delegations to sessions under the Convention and the Kyoto Protocol;
  • incorporated a reporting mechanism whereby the UNFCCC Secretariat is to present an annual report on progress made towards the goal of gender balance; and
  • provided for the holding of an in-session workshop on gender balance in the context of the UNFCCC.