Yet it hasn't announced any climate action in the U.N. process, and former Qatari oil minister Abdullah Bin Hamad Al-Attiyah didn't do so when he opened the conference Monday.
"We should not concentrate on the per capita (emissions), we should concentrate on the amount from each country," Al-Attiyah told reporters. "I think Qatar is the right place to host" the conference, he added.
The concentration of greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide has jumped 20 percent since 2000, according to a U.N. report released last week. The report also showed that there is a growing gap between what governments are doing to curb emissions and what needs to be done to protect the world from potentially dangerous levels of warming.
The goal of the U.N. talks is to keep the global temperature rise under 2 degrees C (3.6 F), compared to pre-industrial times.
But efforts taken so far to rein in emissions, reduce deforestation and promote clean technology are not getting the job done. A recent projection by the World Bank showed temperatures are expected to increase by up to 4 degrees C (7.2 F) by 2100.
"Climate change is no longer some distant threat for the future, but is with us today," said Greenpeace climate campaigner Martin Kaiser, who was also at the Doha talks. "At the end of a year that has seen the impacts of climate change devastate homes and families around the world, the need for action is obvious and urgent."
Dangerous warming effects could include flooding of coastal cities and island nations, disruptions to agriculture and drinking water, the spread of diseases and the extinction of species.
Many scientists also say that extreme weather events, such as Hurricane Sandy's onslaught on the U.S. East Coast, will become more frequent as the Earth warms, although it is impossible to attribute any individual event to climate change.