UK for Climate pact to go beyond Kyoto

Last Updated: Monday, December 14, 2009 - 23:36

Copenhagen: The UK on Monday made it clear
that the potential agreement at the Copenhagen Climate Change
Conference would have to go beyond the Kyoto Protocol and that
global emissions would have to peak by 2020.

Ed Miliband, UK’s Secretary of State for Energy and
Climate Change, said all "major countries" would have to
submit for monitoring and verification all actions taken to
combat climate change.
He also underlined that the present conference should
produce financial commitments to developing countries that go
beyond the fast-start fund of USD 10 billion.

Miliband made it clear that the potential agreement at
the Copenhagen would have to go beyond the Kyoto Protocol and
that global emissions would have to peak by 2020.

"I think developing countries should understand that
for the Kyoto Parties to sign a partial legal treaty now with
many countries outside would be irresponsible for the climate
because we would be accepting that we would have a
continuation of only some countries being in the treaty,"
Miliband said in his first press conference.

He said global emissions have risen since Kyoto and
the central aim for these negotiations is to ensure that we
peak global emissions by 2020 and "we can only do that with
commitments for countries beyond the Kyoto Parties".

On the same day, environment ministers from the
emerging economies Brazil, South Africa, India and China
(BASIC) left the scheduled informal ministerial meetings
protesting that the negotiations on the Kyoto Protocol were
being ignored and the Africa group threatened to boycott the
present proceedings.
The Kyoto Protocol sets binding targets for 37
industrialized countries called Annex 1 countries for
reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions to an average of five
per cent against 1990 levels over the five-year period
2008-2012.

The overall Climate negotiations are moving under two
tracks – the first is under the Bali Action Plan that requires
parties to produce a legally binding treaty before the first
commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol ends in 2012.

The second track is the extension of the Kyoto
Protocol into the second commitment period from 2013 to 2018
where developed countries listed under Annex B will have to
take binding cuts.

China and India want the negotiations to urgently deal
with the Kyoto Protocol and especially the clear targets for
the second commitment period.

But the European Union, Australia and other developed
countries want to merge the discussions into one track to
produce one legal agreement with larger obligations on
emerging economies.

Noting that UK was against continuing the situation of
Kyoto where only some people were in a legal treaty because
that would be "a massive disservice to the planet."

Douglas Alexander, Secretary of State for
International Development, said Kyoto "was hugely important
but it was partial in its reach and the prize coming out of
Copenhagen is to ensure an inclusive agreement that allows us
with credibility to address the science".
Noting that difficulties in the process and substance
of the negotiations, the Miliband joined the US and EU in
calling major developing countries to report and verify
actions taken to combat climate change.

Miliband said it is important that "we are trying to
do something here that has never been done before that is to
get every major country in the first instance to either commit
reduce in emissions or actions in case of developing
countries".

"We do need transparency about those actions and
commitments. That is an important part of any agreement," the
minister added, stressing the importance of a precise system
of monitoring and verification "to ensure that people actually
follow through on what they’ve promised."

Miliband noted that it was possible to make progress
on this front since agreement had been made on reporting and
verification for actions taken by developing countries that
are financially supported from abroad.

However, the Indian Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh
has made it clear that India’s "unsupported action" (which are
not backed by funds or technology from outside) to combat
climate change will not be subject to international scrutiny.
"All evaluation for unsupported action will be done
domestically and unaccountability will be with our parliament
nobody else," Ramesh said here, noting that progress on
unsupported actions could be submitted through a National
Communication to the United Nations for "information" purposes
only.

The European Union and United States have called on
emerging economies to submit all their action taken with US
chief negotiator Todd Stern stating that it would not suffice
for developing countries to just post their domestic action
taken to combat climate change for information and that
powerful economies would need to demonstrate a greater
commitment.

Miliband also stressed that developed countries need
to agree to provide more on finances adaptation, mitigation
and deforestation over and above the fast-track money of USD
10 billion that will go the poorest countries.

Alexander, Secretary of State for International
Development, said long term and predictable financing is what
the developing world wants and needs". "It is important to
understand that if you are looking to move your economy on a
low carbon path then you need a degree of predictability,"
Alexander underlined.

PTI



First Published: Monday, December 14, 2009 - 23:36

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