Kyoto Protocol moves ahead as Bush's wrecking tactics fail
Montreal, Canada 9 December 2005 - Greenpeace today congratulated the 157 countries, who have ratified the Kyoto Protocol, as they moved the landmark climate change treaty towards deeper emissions reductions after 2012.
"The Kyoto Protocol is stronger today than it was two weeks ago. This historic first Meeting of the Parties has acknowledged the urgency of the threat that climate change poses to the world's poorest people, and eventually, to all of us. The decisions made here have cleared the way for long term action," said Bill Hare, Greenpeace International Climate Policy Advisor in Montreal.
The parties have agreed the following:
* To start urgent negotiations on a new round of emission reduction targets for the second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol (2013-2017). A special group has been established to ensure that these negotiations are concluded "as soon as possible". This is necessary to ensure the continuity of carbon markets, and to allow governments to put policies and measures in place to ensure that the new, deeper emission reduction targets are met
* To start now to review and improve the Kyoto Protocol. Mandated under the existing treaty, this review will formally begin at next year's meeting.
* A Five Year Plan of Action on Adaptation, to assist least developed countries to cope with the impacts of climate change. This programme will begin to address the fact that climate change already impacts the world's poorest, and that it will get much worse in the coming decades. It is the ethical, political, and legal responsibility of the industrialised countries to provide for this.
As expected, the Bush administration attempted to derail the process, at one point even walking out of the negotiations, but the rest of the world showed a resolve to move ahead regardless. For once, the Bush administration was forced back to the table and into agreement with the international community. No doubt the overwhelming presence of U.S. civil society at these talks has had a positive effect.
The US has continued to attempt to lure countries away from the UN multilateral climate regime with its international emission trading to an ineffective approach based on voluntary actions and 'partnerships'. Today, however, governments have agreed to hold substantive talks beginning in May 2006 on the Kyoto Protocol's second commitment period, sending an unmistakable signal that we are on the road to new and more ambitious targets.
Greenpeace documents on the UN Climate Change Conference 2005 can be found at www.greenpeace.ca/climate2005