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Kyoto Protocol second commitment period must be kept to five years, and ambition levels raised: LDCs

Date: 07 May 2012

One of the most urgent and major challenges that countries need to resolve in order to promptly start climate negotiations next year is a decision on the second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol, says the world’s group of Least Developed Countries.

“The Kyoto Protocol is an urgent issue that we must solve in the next three weeks,” said the chair of the Group of 48 LDCs, Pa Ousman Jarju. He is attending the Brussels informal ministerial roundtable for ambitious follow-up to Durban.

“It is essential for countries to move beyond their own internal considerations and agree on elements that stop, rather than exacerbate, the increasing risks that climate change impose all countries, particularly, to our vulnerable countries,” he said. A second commitment period of five years for the Kyoto Protocol is essential for that action to take place.

In 2007, scientists estimated that developed countries should cut emissions by a range of 25 to 40% compared to their 1990 levels by 2020.  Other reliable science, again and again, has told us that further efforts will now be necessary – indeed 2020 emissions cuts must now be in the range of 40 to 45% compare to 1990 levels.

“The science is only getting stronger, clearer and more urgent.  Therefore, the LDCs will not engage in any agreement that sets ambition for 2020 below the range of 40-45% at 1990 levels.  Anything less would jeopardize any prospect of our countries to combat climate change,” said Pa Ousman Jarju.

“But first we must set the Kyoto Protocol’s second commitment period at five years, so that action begins fast – and early. A longer commitment period would simply delay action, and the world’s poorest and most vulnerable countries simply cannot afford for this to happen.”

To this end, in Brussels, the Gambian Minister of Forestry and the Environment, Ms. Fatou Gaye will engage with her European Union partners to explain that the emissions levels by 2020 should be consistent to a cut in the range of 40 to 45% compare to 1990 levels and urge them to agree to a five year commitment period.

As far as they are concerned Australia and New Zealand need to stand up and be counted on the future of the Kyoto Protocol. The time is long past for ‘shilly shally’ on this critical and tough issue. Do you not say, drawing on harsh but proud lessons from your history, when the going gets tough, the tough get going? Well now is the time…

To Japan the group would like to say: “We need you in the global system and we need you in the Kyoto system, named after your ancient capital. We do not need a special Japanese system of special bilateral deals. We need the Kyoto system applying to all and the world needs you to be in it”.

Sandra Freitas, LDC Group spokesperson
Tel: +228 90 29 95 29

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