Kyoto fight turns nasty, progress stalled over rules

Developed countries insist that without all emitters on board, second KP period would be an empty box

By Aditya Ghosh

Bonn, June 14: Vitriolic exchanges and political one-upmanship continue between developed and developing countries over the future of Kyoto Protocol at Bonn climate negotiations. While non-Annex I countries refuse to discuss rules for developing countries under AWG-KP, some of the developed countries made it clear that all major emitters must be bought to the fold of any legal mechanism, LCA or KP.

There is a clear indication from the developed country block that they want to shift the entire mitigation agenda to AWG-LCA which is unacceptable to the developing countries. “The Annex I parties in a second Kyoto Term would be responsible for merely 17 per cent of the total emissions projected. If the rest of it cannot be contained there is no use blaming us,” said the Australian negotiator.

She went up to the extent of calling AOSIS and other climate vulnerable nations to escalate pressures on the major emitters from developing countries, if they wanted to “feel safe” from climate induced geophysical changes.

Political rhetorics were hurled by parties at each other in the contact group meeting on AWG-KP on Tuesday. Heated discussions between Australia, New Zealand, Canada, European Union and countries such as Bolivia, Tuvalu, Brazil underlined complete disregard for historical emissions from the developed countries who continued to harp on future of GHG emissions to the extent of holding developing country emitters responsible to bridging the ‘gigatonne gap.’

Developing countries expressed serious reservation on the effort of trying to shift the mitigation agenda to AWG-LCA. “No Annex I country is doing more in LCA than they are in KP,” pointed out the Brazil negotiator.

Clearly, historical debt and equity seem out of the window as developing countries keep hammering the responsibility of all “major emitters.” The EU is the latest to join the bandwagon of uniform rules and markets for all parties under a second commitment of KP. “The EU is ready to join a second commitment period and GHG reductions to the tune of 30 per cent only if it is satisfied that all major polluters are sincere in joining such a regime,” said the EU negotiator.

The EU conceded that 2014-15 is now "broadly realistic" as a date for a broad deal.

Some experts say that action may have to wait for the next U.N. report on climate science, due in 2013-14 by Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

Australia and Canada, favouring the rules be created in a manner that could help comparing the developing country mitigation as well, claimed that rules must overlap between LCA and KP on targets across all major emitters. “Rules could be imported to LCA that are created here,” said the Australian negotiator, which AOSIS and others vehemently rejected. “The negotiations under KP concerns developed countries and should remain that way,” said the Tuvalu negotiator.


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