France: COP17 global deal must be legally binding

By Ed King
RTCC in Durban

France’s climate change Ambassador says it is vital that any new global deal is built on a legally binding basis.

In a working party meeting on Thursday the Brazilian government re-iterated their call for deep ‘voluntary pledges’ in the absence of a new binding deal.

Speaking to RTCC, Ambassador SE Serge Lepeltier acknowledged the Kyoto Protocol’s imperfections, but said its legal basis ensured it performed a vital role in encouraging signatories to cut emissions.

“If Kyoto was not there and had not been passed, countries would not succeed in engaging politically in the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions,” he said.

“The rules sooner permit and justify these politics, the politics of countries particularly evident in Europe who announce very strong measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

“Of course, we can improve the rules in the Kyoto accord, but the rules are based in jurisdiction – it’s essential to move forward towards a global accord in jurisdiction, in constraint long-term.”

Lepeltier also called on all parties to have patience with the slow nature of negotiations.

With a week of negotiations having passed, progress over a second commitment period to Kyoto appears limited.

Meanwhile cracks are appearing in the framework surrounding the Green Climate Fund, with the US and Venezuela forming an unlikely alliance opposing its proposed form.

But Lepeltier says there is still time to make a deal, but admits the complexity of talks does pose problems for all parties.

“I think we are in a slightly difficult position, we have the technical parties, all the working groups, which work well today, there are no blockages in negotiations therefore that’s all rational and positive, but it’s true that in the plan, the position at Durban, up to today has not advanced,” he said.

“A true question might be for the second, political, week, about the difficulty to resolve the level of new political problems and it’s true we’re in enough of a difficult situation.”

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