Scheveningen (The Hague), The Netherlands, 28 June 2001, 1800 CST
Greenpeace said today that Japan’s greed in seeking more concessions at the climate talks in the Hague threatened the future of the Kyoto Protocol. Greenpeace Climate Policy Director Bill Hare said, “Unless Japan comes to its senses, it could sink the Kyoto Protocol negotiations in Bonn in two weeks time.”
Instead of accepting the concessions offered by the COP6 President Jan Pronk in his latest proposals, Japan has responded by demanding more. It is seeking unrestricted use of sink credits from its already existing forests (which would allow its emissions to increase); and it wants nuclear power included in the Kyoto Protocol’s Clean Development Mechanism.
“Japan’s position, as represented at these talks, fails to reflect the gravity of the crisis facing the Kyoto Protocol, and Japan’s solemn responsibility to help bring the Protocol into force without the USA,” said Hare.
At the conclusion of these ‘informal’ climate talks in the Hague on the future of Kyoto Protocol, it is clear that Australia, Canada and Japan have taken up very regressive positions, particularly on the question of sinks. Australia and Canada want virtually unlimited use of sink activities, and it was precisely these demands which were one of the main causes for the collapse of the COP6 negotiations at the Hague last year. While the EU appears to have made substantial concessions, the reaction of these countries has been to demand more.
Hare said, “In the case of Canada and Australia this indicates a clear lack of political will to implement and ratify the Kyoto Protocol without the USA. The Japanese government clearly has not yet made a decision as to whether it will ratify without the USA.”
At these negotiations the USA has been on the verge of obstructing progress, contrary to President Bush’s promise to EU leaders in Gothenberg two weeks ago. The US has continued to intervene on issues that it says fall under the climate convention, or which might set a precedent for other international agreements, or which might affects its trading interests or sovereignty. The USA has objected to the funding proposed for technology transfer to developing countries, to the penalties for failure to comply with the Kyoto Protocol. It has said these are “punitive” and would set a bad precedent for other international agreements.
“It is clear that the US is increasingly isolated. Others in its “Umbrella Group”, such as Norway, New Zealand and Iceland have been generally constructive. The whole issue now hangs on Japan,” said Hare.
Japanese Prime Minister Koizumi meets Mr Bush on the 30th of June, and at that meeting he should tell the US that Japan will move forward and ratify Kyoto without the USA. It would be unacceptable for Japan to come to the negotiations in Bonn in two weeks time without having made up its mind on this vital issue.
For further information: Bill Hare +31-6-21296899 Michel Raquet +32 496 163365
Susan.Cavanagh@ams.greenpeace.org +31 6 212 969 10 end
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