Greenpeace to Japan: ”Do the Right Thing, Please!”
“US Stay Home”
20 days to Bonn
Scheveningen (The Hague), The Netherlands, 27 June 2001 - Greenpeace today called on Japan to reaffirm its commitment to climate protection, by clearly indicating that it would ratify the Kyoto Protocol; and to clearly distance itself from the US position. At the Dutch seaside resort near The Hague, government representatives are conducting high-level ‘informal’ negotiations in preparation for the resumption of the formal climate negotiations next month in Bonn, Germany.
Ten days after the European Union announced that it would proceed to ratify the Kyoto Protocol without the US, the spotlight is now on Japan as the next country to lay its cards on the table. Public and political opinion in Japan are strongly in favor of ratification, but the government is afraid of the political fallout with their largest trading partner, the US, if they agree to ratify regardless of what the US does.
“It is no longer acceptable for Japan to represent the US position. Japan must compromise to reach agreement with the Europeans in advance of Bonn. Japan has a very important global responsibility to rise to the occasion,” said Bill Hare, Greenpeace International Climate Policy Director. Japan, sometimes joined by Canada and Australia, have been moving backwards from where they were last November on key issues, and have reintroduced the notion that nuclear power should be included in the Clean Development Mechanism – a part of the Protocol which defines “clean” energy - the idea of which was already discarded in The Hague.
“The climate cannot wait for Bush. If the US administration is not going to participate constructively in these negotiations, then they should stay at home and not get in the way of responsible governments who wish to respond to the public, political and scientific call for immediate action to protect the climate,” said Bill Hare Greenpeace climate policy director.
The delegates at today’s meeting are considering the proposal put forward last week by COP6 Chair Jan Pronk of the Netherlands. Greenpeace has performed a quantitative analysis (full report available at address below of the Pronk proposal and found that without the US in the agreement, the loopholes created for the US such as “Hot Air” (allowing countries to trade their emission shortfall due to economic downturn) and “Sinks” (getting ‘credit’ for planting trees and other forms of vegetation, which would allow them to increase their emissions) would nullify emission reduction targets of the remaining OECD countries.
“The loopholes in the treaty were created for the US. If the US goes, the loopholes must go as well for the Treaty to retain any environmental integrity,” said Hare.
Contacts Bill Hare +31 6 21296899 Michel Raquet +32 496 163365 Full report: http://www.greenpeace.org/~climate/climatecountdown/doc uments/analysispronk.pdf See also: http://www.greenpeace.org/~climate/climatecountdown/
Susan.Cavanagh@ams.greenpeace.org +31 6 212 969 10 end
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