Sergio Abranches, from Durban
The European Union has set its conditions to support a second period of commitment for the Kyoto Protocol, on a press conference, in Durban, where COP17 will officially start tomorrow.
EU chief negotiator, Arthur Runge-Metzger said that Europe supports the Kyoto Protocol, but won’t keep it in place alone. “The Kyoto Protocol is useful, and can work”, he added. “It needs improvement in some areas, but more work needs to be done” to get to a meaningful agreement on climate change. “Kyoto covers only 25 percent of emissions”, and several countries have announced they will not be a part to a second period of commitment. The European Union covers no more than 17 percent of emissions. The problem with emissions is not in Europe, he completed.
The negotiator for Poland, the country that is now on the European presidency, Tomasz Chruszczow said that a new agreement should bring 100 percent of emissions under the same legal umbrella. “We need 100 percent of those who emit to participate on the mitigation efforts.” To the European Union, the Kyoto Protocol could be a transition, he conceded. But there are realistic and necessary conditions for the European Union to support a second period of commitment, he added.
Runge-Metzger specified the conditions: to fully operationalize the Cancun Agreements, putting in place the Green Climate Fund, and to clarify how it will finance adaptation, a demand from the developing countries, and the technology mechanism; to complete approval of REDD+; to clarify and specify transparency mechanisms, “what we know as MRV, monitoring, reporting and verification. These conditions, according to both negotiators, can be fulfilled in Durban. “There is a lot of technical work to do, and we hope major progress can be made this week” on technical issues, said Runge-Metzger.
The european negotiators have also mentioned a more complicated political condition. “We need a roadmap to get to a new international climate agreement”, one that reaches all major emitters, said the chief european negotiator. This agreement should be signed until 2015, and be put in force no later than 2020. “We will be talking here about engagement, not marriage”, he illustrated. Answering a reporter Runge-Metzger said that the idea was to get the new agreement ready as soon as possible, but no later than 2015, and to enforce it also as soon as possible, but no later than 2020. The roadmap should be stronger, broader and have more clear commitments than the Bali Roadmap, he explained. Chruszczow said that “we cannot live with [the] Bali [Roadmap] forever”.
This new roadmap for an agreement to be ready by 2015, and in force by 2020, will likely occupy most of the talks for the whole week. Developing countries will very likely strongly oppose the European proposal. It can be a double-edged one: it can lead to a new crisis of confidence among the parties, or it can be the outline of what the Durban outcome will be.
Tags: Cancun, COP17, Durban, EU, Global climate politics, REDD, UNFCCC