Don’t Lose Sight of the Laggards

ECO has consistently called for a second commitment period to the Kyoto Protocol and has long decried the decision of George Bush not to ratify the KP.  Furthermore, ECO is dismayed that the countries that respectively put the Kyoto in the KP, brought it into force and started negotiations for its second commitment period – Japan, Russia and Canada – are behaving like petulant toddlers, hiding in the corner rather than joining the Kyoto party. Meanwhile, other countries - the EU, Australia, New Zealand, Norway and others -  are expressing various degrees of lukewarmness about the KP second commitment period.

However, this analysis misses what is needed from two other groups of countries in order to have a balanced package in Durban, both in terms of the form and substance of the outcome. The KP second commitment period is absolutely essential. But the global climate crisis requires global action.

Thus support from developing countries for a mandate for a legally binding agreement under the LCA, which ECO thinks needs to be in the form of a protocol or other appropriate legal instrument is fundamental to the solution.  

However, there is another group of countries that seem to be trying to escape responsibility.  The non-KP developed country[s], from which and about there has been the greatest silence of expectations, need to be called out. It seems clear that whatever is agreed under paragraph 1.b.i of the Bali Acton Plan (developed country mitigation) in Durban, it will be in the form of a COP decision, but it is also clear that ALL developed countries need to offer more than inadequate pledges as their contribution to the global effort to avoid a 4  ̊C world. Those that remain in the KP will at least maintain a solid legal framework with economy-wide targets and a strong common MRV and compliance system, even if their current targets are at woefully low levels. ECO would love to explore with Parties ideas to strengthen 1.b.i so that it does not become the grotesque poster child of a pledge and review 4  ̊C world.