Parties should welcome the ratification of the Kyoto Protocol by the nations of Kazakhstan, Turkey and Zimbabwe. Their action affirms Kyoto’s continued value and demonstrates a commitment to sparing humanity from catastrophic climate change.
A Copenhagen agreement that does not aim for a high probability of ensuring the survival and sustainable development of all nations, and the welfare of the most vulnerable, is not acceptable. The targets currently tabled by developed countries fall well short of guaranteeing these core objectives. Those targets put us on a trajectory to wipe sovereign nations off the map, add to development challenges and increase human suffering.
There is a very narrow envelope of possible emissions pathways to 2050 that have an acceptably high probability of avoiding the worst impacts of dangerous climate change. These pathways require peaking global emissions within the next 5-year commitment period and achieving reductions of at least 80% below 1990 levels by 2050.
Developed nation commitments must be based on a science-driven approach. A weak, bottom-up approach to reduction targets combined with loopholes and offsets creates a race to the bottom and a crash course on the harsh reality of catastrophic climate change.