14 JUN 2011
By Frank McDonald | Irish Times
THE EU is now prepared to consider renewing the Kyoto Protocol at December’s climate summit in Durban – without the participation of the US and other developed countries, it was claimed here yesterday.
Julie-Ann Richards, of the Climate Action Network, said there were “quite positive signs that some countries will agree to a second commitment period for Kyoto” beyond the protocol’s current lifespan, which ends next year.
“The EU is making it clearer that it is prepared to consider entering into a second commitment period at Durban,” she said. Previously, its message was that there should be a single legally binding agreement on how to deal with climate change.
She also welcomed a change of position on the part of Canada and Japan, which had joined Russia in saying that they would not renew Kyoto. This followed a demand by the Alliance of Small Island States that only parties willing to extend the protocol should be involved in the negotiations.
As a result, Ms Richards said there had been a “positive flip in attitude” by Canada and Japan, which were now showing “much more enthusiasm” to participate in talks on the Kyoto track. However, she added: “We have not heard from Russia lately.”
She noted that a renewal of Kyoto – the only treaty that requires developed countries to reduce their emissions – was “the number one issue for developing countries”, and there was “a lot of behind-the-scene conversations going on about how to move it forward”.
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