Little Progress Expected in Buenos Aires

by William Yeatman on October 21, 1998

in Kyoto Negotiations

The fourth Conference of the Parties (COP-4) will meet in Buenos Aires, Argentina on November 2-13 to further discuss greenhouse gas reductions. According to Melinda Kimble, acting assistant secretary of state, there probably will be little progress toward reaching the administrations goals. “Buenos Aires has the potential to be a small step forward,” Kimble testified on October 6 before the House Commerce Subcommittee on Energy and Power.

The biggest hurdle is emissions trading. Different countries have different ideas on what an emission trading system would look like under the Kyoto Protocol though views have converged in recent weeks.

Kimble was questioned about the administrations definition of “meaningful participation” by developing countries. She admitted that the administration has “no definition.” But, she said, it will not be a “one-size-fits-all solution.” Targets for poorer countries with low emissions will be different than for richer developing countries with higher emissions (BNA Daily Environment Report, October 7, 1998).

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