Saturday, 22nd July 2017

Cancun, and after? (part 3/3)

Posted on 04. Jan, 2011 by Florent Baarsch in COP16

Felipe Calderon in Cancun

Felipe Calderon in Cancun

The Second Commitment Period?

For some of the delegations, a Second Commitment Period under the Kyoto Protocol was one of the top priorities for this 16th Conference in Cancun. Among these were Norway, the European Union and the majority of the developing countries. On the other hand, some countries like Japan and Russia had made it clear that they didn’t want a new commitment period.

There was no agreement on this issue in Cancun. The negotiation text of the Kyoto Protocol is getting longer and longer and if we do not find an agreement on this text in Durban in December, it is clear that the Protocol will definitely disappear.

As the 1st commitment period under the Kyoto Protocol started in 2008, it will end in December 2012. After the 31st of December 2012, the targets committed by the Annex I countries under the Protocol will lose their legal value.
For the G77 (the developing countries), an agreement on a new commitment period is the sine qua none condition for any legally binding agreement on climate change. Without this, an international agreement on climate change will not be reached and above all, the emissions of the Annex I countries will not be reduced.

The mitigation targets:

After the COP15, the countries associated to the Copenhagen Accord sent their voluntarily emissions reductions commitments to the UNFCCC secretariat. For the scientific- and the NGO communities, these commitments are far from what science requires and will never be sufficient to hold the increase of the average global temperature below 2 degrees Celsius (as the parties also agreed on in Copenhagen). This gap (between the voluntarily and weak commitments and the political objective) was rapidly named the gigatonne gap

Even though the parties probably won’t change their targets after Cancun, the commitments are now taken into note in the Agreement and written in a document mentioned by the COP decision. The positive news are that the Conference of the Parties urges the developed countries to increase the ambition of their targets to a level recommended by the last IPCC review (understand between 25 and 40%).

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2 Responses to “Cancun, and after? (part 3/3)”

  1. Austin 4 January 2011 at %I:%M %p #

    It is unfortunate the way the climate issue is being handled.

  2. Maria 4 January 2011 at %I:%M %p #

    I dare to disagree that EU was one of the countries to have the continuation of the Kyoto protocol as a top priority. Sure, the EU had a very different approach than they had in Copenhagen, but the opinions have not changed: the Kyoto Protocol covers only 30% of emissions, and hence a new agreement, that includes the US and demands emission reductions from the growing economies as well, is needed. I think the official stance of the EU (Finland at least, that I know for sure) is to take the best bits of the Kyoto Protocol and establish a new, broader, legally binding treaty. Hopefully at COP17.

    (In case nothing better comes along, EU is ready to keep the Kyoto alive. I wouldn’t call it a top priority though)



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