Brazil: Absence of acceptable Kyoto deal threatens UN climate process

By John Parnell
RTCC in Doha

The Doha climate change talks will conclude without an outcome if there is no acceptable deal on the second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol, Brazil’s head of delegation has said.

Ambassador Luiz Alberto Figueiredo called the second commitment period (CP2) “the key that will allow everything else to be adopted” adding that failure on CP2 could jeopardise the entire international climate regime.

“If [CP2] is not done here then I’m afraid other elements will not happen. If this unfortunate situation occurs, then we may have a stalemate in the negotiations of the regime to fight climate change. Nobody wants that.

“Kyoto is the longest negotiation that occurs in this process. It could have ended several years ago but it did not because the developed countries wanted to postpone a decision on [CP2]. We can no longer postpone a decision on this issue because the first round of cuts ends at the end of this month. The CP2 needs to be in place January 1, 2013. That’s the key,” said Figueiredo.

Luiz Alberto Figueiredo said Kyoto is the key to all progress in Doha as the final few days of talks approach. (Source: Flickr/Rio20Brasil)

The CP2 will be the only binding emissions reduction regime until 2020 when the new Durban Platform (ADP) framework will kick in. The ADP will enforce emission reductions on all nations, whereas Kyoto is only for a handful of rich nations.

Despite this, the CP2, written into law in 1997, is viewed as a sign of goodwill from developed nations and is one of the conditions on which the ADP was signed last year at the UN climate talks in South Africa.

Talks on the Kyoto Protocol will continue into the night in Doha with the final round of dedicated negotiations on it taking place on Wednesday morning.

Before Brazil is likely to be happy with the make-up of the new round of Kyoto commitments, the long running ‘hot air’ debate is one of a number of issues that must be resolved.

A separate strand of the talks in Doha, the Long term Cooperative Action (LCA), looking at support for developing countries has hit a deadlock. Issues over finance and technology have split countries and led to some bitter exchanges.

Strong stances in one branch of the talks however, can often be a response to negotiations elsewhere.

“All of these tracks are delicately interlinked and you will see push back on ADP while some of the fundamentals parts of the LCA track remain fundamentally unresolved,” said Oxfam’s head of delegation Kelly Dent.

“The country interventions I have heard on LCA, all countries in one way or another expressed they won’t be happy until those key issues are addressed. It’s very delicate but the issues of hot air and finance could make or break this COP.”

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