International Climate Talks in Bangkok

by William Yeatman on April 4, 2008

The first round of negotiations for a successor to the Kyoto Protocol is taking place this week in Bangkok.  The head of the “G-77 plus China” group (which now represents 130 developing countries) told a reporter for Inter Press Service that the developed countries were going to have to meet their Kyoto commitments before asking the developing countries to make commitments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Dr. John Ashe, Antigua and Barbuda's ambassador to the UN, told Marwaan Macan-Markar of Inter Press, “Those who have ratified the Kyoto Protocol have to meet their targets first….  We are concerned that the (industrialized nations) have not given sufficient priority to the legal mandate of achieving quantified emissions limitations and reduction commitments through national actions.”

The G-77 are keen on Kyoto because of its two wealth-transferring programs, which are called the Clean Development Mechanism and Joint Implementation.  But they are making a larger, very strong point: how can poor countries be expected to sign a new agreement to reduce emissions if the rich countries have failed to reduce emissions?

In related news, it was reported this week that the European Union's emissions went up again in 2007.  That's on top of the 2006 increase of 1.6 per cent.

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