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Ambition under the Kyoto Protocol essential to reaching consensus in Doha

Date: 06 September 2012

With time running out on the last round of climate negotiations before a critical end of the year Climate Change Conference in Doha, Qatar, the Alliance of Small Island States, the Least Developed Countries, and the Africa Group, which together represent over a billion people who are most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change, released the following statement urging countries to fulfill their responsibility to address the climate change crisis and outlined some key expectations for the remaining days here and the upcoming talks in Doha:

We are concerned that the environmental integrity of the Kyoto Protocol, which is the only international treaty that legally binds developed countries to lower emissions, and thus our lone assurance that action will be taken, is eroding before our eyes.

This will require action in Doha that prioritizes reducing emissions that is in line with the latest scientific recommendations, including the following:

Annex I Parties – including those that have not yet submitted Quantified Emission Limitation Reduction Objectives (QELROs) – must raise the ambition of their economy-wide emission reduction commitments and submit legally binding, single number QELROS without conditions for inclusion in an amended Annex B of the Kyoto Protocol.

The second commitment period should be for a length of five-years to avoid locking in insufficient ambition.

The use of surplus units from the first commitment period must be dramatically curbed in the second commitment period to protect the environmental integrity of the second commitment period.

Parties must reaffirm that legally binding QELROS inscribed in Annex B for the second commitment period are required for all Annex I Parties wishing to participate in the mechanisms.

Parties must affirm that the compliance system of the Kyoto Protocol applies to the second commitment period.

Finally, Annex 1 countries that are not parties to the Kyoto Protocol should take ambitious commitments under the LCA. If hard decisions to cut emissions are not made by all developed countries, developing countries will be forced to confront issues of adaptation on a previously unimaginable scale.

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