Ashton: If we ditch Kyoto we surrender to climate change

By RTCC staff

The United Kingdom’s Special Representative for Climate Change says ditching the Kyoto Protocol would signal the planet has given up on climate change.

In an article in the Guardian Newspaper, John Ashton, who has the personal title of Ambassador with direct access to Foreign Secretary William Hague, writes that beyond Kyoto ‘there is no plan B for the climate’.

“A voluntary framework will not be enough to keep us within the 2C limit of manageable climate change”, he says.

“Unmanageable climate change will precipitate systemic collapses, including of our food and water security.”

Hopes that a second commitment period might be agreed at COP17 in Durban appear to be fading, despite fierce entreaties from summit hosts South Africa.

In the past week previous supporters of Kyoto have voiced doubts over its future – notably European climate commissioner Connie Hedegaard and UK energy minister Greg Barker.

With the USA, Japan, Canada vehemently opposed to a deal, and Australia and Norway proposing a three-year break before new legislation is introduced, the outlook appears bleak.

But Ashton argues that as the ‘EU’s greatest diplomatic achievement’ Kyoto should be protected, and says Durban must demonstrate the world is ready to move quickly and decisively to cut emissions.

“There is no fundamental obstacle. The technology and capital are available,” he says.

“The framework we need is not only compatible with the economic needs of the major economies but essential to securing them.”

RTCC Analysis: Is it time to ditch the Kyoto Protocol?

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