It was a close shave. On several occasions over the past few days, and all night negotiations, failure seemed inevitable.
Fortunately, good sense and goodwill prevailed at the end.
There were 4 key components that were finely balanced.
First, the Kyoto Protocol will be extended through a second commitment period. The EU, Switzerland and Norway committed themselves to a legally binding ratifiable second commitment period. Unfortunately, Russia, Canada and Japan refused.
Second, a process to launch negotiations that will apply to all countries to either a new protocol or legal instrument or agreed outcome with legal force under the Convention will begin next year. A last minute dispute between the EU and India on this last point almost derailed the entire agreement.
Third, a new Green Climate Fund will be established.
Fourth, an agreement for the myriad details of the Long Term Cooperative Action was agreed. A key feature was increased transparency of the measures taken and outcomes.
If all these agreements are successfully implemented, this will be the most major step since the original Kyoto Protocol was signed in 1997.
Over the years, it has become increasingly obvious that not enough is being done to fulfill the aim of keeping global temperature rise to below 2 degrees. More needs to be done, and all countries will have to do more, taking into account our common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities.
Singapore has a special challenge in being alternative energy disadvantaged. We are also vulnerable, given our low lying land area.
Much work remains to be done to future proof our homeland.