TWN Info Service
on Climate Change (Oct09/02)
Please find below an article by Martin Khor, the Executive Director of the South Centre, which was carried by a leading Malaysian english daily called The Star, following conclusion of the Bangkok Climate Talks.
Monday October 12, 2009
Dark cloud over climate talks
By Martin Khor
dialogue ended badly as trust evaporated after rich countries abandoned
AN astonishing and unfortunate turn of events, the
By now, the developed countries should have come up with numbers on how much they commit to cut their Greenhouse Gas emissions after 2012, when the first commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol (KP) ends, so that a second period can begin in 2013.
has sent shock waves around the world, and raised the prospect of utter
Group of 77 and
“We call on the developed countries that are members of the Kyoto Protocol to stand firmly in the KP and to engage seriously in negotiations for a second commitment period,” it said in a statement on Oct 9.
will also consider the
The KP had firmly bound the developed countries internationally to commitments to cut their emissions.
It was agreed their emissions would be cut by 5% collectively by 2012 (compared with 1990) in the first period.
The new cut after 2012 was expected to bring the emissions level down by 25% to 40% by 2020 (compared with 1990). And the talks on this have gone on for three years.
problem is that the
Bali climate meeting in December 2007 envisaged that if the
of working out this plan, it appears that the other developed countries
now want to jump ship from the Kyoto Protocol to join the
this new agreement (with the
They would later report on progress made, which would then be reviewed by other countries.
This is a kind of “pledge and review” approach, and much more lenient than the KP model with an internationally-set overall target for developed countries, with specific and binding targets for each country, and a compliance system.
The developing countries see this as a lowering of the nature of the developed nations’ commitments, from internationally binding to nationally determined.
is an attempt for a great escape,” remarked
G77’s, and China’s, demand is for the developed countries which are
KP members to commit to their cuts inside the KP, while the US makes
its commitment for a comparable emission cut in a special decision inside
the Convention. This was after all envisaged in
Another worrying trend in the talks in Bangkok was the attempt to confuse or do away with the clear distinction between the “mitigation commitments” of developed countries (involving binding and deep emission cuts) and the “mitigation actions” of developing countries (which are not expected to undertake absolute emission cuts, but would curb emissions growth, through actions enabled by finance and technology from rich nations).
The developed countries seem to be engaging in a concerted plan to reduce their own commitments while pushing their burden onto developing countries, which are asked to take on more than their fair share.
wanting it all their own way, the rich nations may be jeopardising
KP track is about to be destroyed and its debris and fragmented pieces
lie on the Convention track. The train to
Oct 10, Indian Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh said the
blamed the EU for abandoning the basic structure of the Kyoto Protocol
and said it was up to the EU to bridge the lack of trust after the
“The trust that has broken should be repaired quickly,” Ramesh said.
warned against what he called the “mistake of the