November 10, 2012

Major polluting countries won't be constrained by "Kyoto 2"

Next Kyoto round is at Doha, Qatar. Qatar needs to make amends, because oil money has made it the highest per capita carbon emitter in the world.

"Australia pledges to renew Kyoto Protocol in Doha:

But New Zealand refuses to follow suit and will instead sign a non-binding pledge

09 Nov 2012
Australia is set to renew its commitment to the Kyoto Protocol [with the renewed Protocol from 2015 on dubbed "Kyoto 2"] and sign up to binding emission reductions through to 2020, in a move that has been hailed as a major breakthrough for the long-running international climate change negotiations.
However, New Zealand today confirmed it will not join its neighbour in signing up for a second phase of the Kyoto agreement, instead opting for a non-binding emissions reduction pledge.            
United Nations climate change negotiators and world leaders will meet in Doha from 26 November [2012] in an attempt to reach a series of agreements designed to extend the legally binding Kyoto agreement before it expires at the end of this year, as well as setting out a roadmap for a new treaty to be finalised by 2015.

The 36 EU countries have already pledged to take Kyoto into a second commitment period that would see them face binding emission reduction targets for the period from 2013 to 2020. However, there had been fears that only the EU and those emerging and developing countries that do not face binding emission targets [significantly that includes major pollutes India and China] under Kyoto would sign up to the agreement, leaving all other industrialised countries outside the agreement.
However, Greg Combet, Australia's climate change and energy efficiency minister, today confirmed the country was ready to sign up to a second phase of Kyoto in Doha.

Ed Davey, UK energy and climate change secretary, said the news was "extremely welcome" and would for the first time expand the international commitment beyond Europe.

"Having Australia on board will really help to push the second Kyoto Protocol period, which is vital to maintaining agreed rules to cut global emissions as we make the transition to a new, global, legally binding deal," he said.

"Australia's work to reduce emissions is bold and promising, I'll be working hard with Greg Combet and our global counterparts to make even more progress in Doha."

However, New Zealand refused to follow its neighbour into Kyoto phase two, and said it would instead make a non-binding emissions pledge under the United Nations Framework Agreement on Climate Change from 1 January 2013.

In signing a non-binding pledge, New Zealand will align itself with a group of countries that are refusing to sign up to a second Kyoto commitment period, including the US, Japan, Canada and Russia.

New Zealand climate change minister Tim Groser said the country was "fully committed" to its current Kyoto commitment. "We are on track to achieving our target, indeed we are forecasting a projected surplus of 23.1 million tonnes," he said. "Furthermore, we will remain full members of the Kyoto Protocol. There is no question of withdrawing. The issue was always different: where would we take our next commitment under the Kyoto Protocol or under the Convention with the large majority of economies? We have decided that it is in New Zealand's best interests to do the latter." "

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