Kyoto Protocol, finance make or break issues in Cancun: Ramesh

Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh said many countries are opposed to continuation Kyoto.

Cancun: Kyoto Protocol is the "make or break" issue for UN climate talks here, Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh said, as he pointed not only Japan but
many other countries are opposed to continuation of the treaty that legally binds industrialised nations to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

The Indian minister also warned participating nations that the inability to establish a mechanism for disbursing USD 30 billion to countries most vulnerable to climate change will be a big failure of the present conference.

"Kyoto Protocol is the make or break issue," he said, noting that Russia, Australia, New Zealand and Canada also supported Japan`s point of view.

After meeting Todd Stern, US special envoy for climate change, Ramesh also expressed his "disappointment" with American contribution of USD 1.8 billion for the first year on
short-term finance.

"We must see by middle of 2011 the disbursement of fast-start finance on a significant scale," Ramesh told reporters.

"Action of fast-start finance which is a key to the grand bargain between the United States and BASIC countries is absolutely essential," he said referring to the Copenhagen
Accord, agreed between participation nations in last year`s climate change meeting.

Meanwhile, Environment Secretary Vijay Sharma told delegates that the UN talks should be pursued on two parallel tracks -- the so called Long Term Cooperative Action as well
as the Kyoto Protocol track, even beyond Cancun.

"We must dispel the clouds over the Kyoto Protocol soon so as not to handicap the Cancun outcomes," he said. "As we work hard on the Cancun outcome, the task is heavy, and much of out work will continue beyond Cancun."

Japan is not willing to sign up for a second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol. Under the first commitment period, which ends in 2012, rich nations committed to cut
emissions by an average 5 percent over 1990 levels.

Japan and EU, however, have pointed that the Kyoto Protocol covers only 27 per cent of carbon emissions, and does not include the largest emitters of greenhouse gases ?-
US and China.

While, India and China agree to take voluntary domestic measures to reduce carbon emissions, they insist it is the responsibility of developed economies to accept legally
binding commitments.

So far, there is little agreement on the mitigation targets for the developed countries in either track – Long Term Cooperative Action and the Kyoto Protocol. UN scientists
have said that time is running out.

"Substance comes first and the form will come later," Sharma said. "Unless we know the substance how can we speculate over the legal form."


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