The Climate Action Network has long campaigned for a strong international agreement to achieve real
cuts in greenhouse gas emissions. The key elements of the Kyoto Protocol are the quantitative
limitation and reduction commitments for industrialised countries with clear targets and timetables and
this should also form the backbone of a future international climate regime.
CAN is convinced that a viable international system for achieving this objective must reflect the moral
responsibility of those who have benefited the most from the use of the global commons to reduce
their emissions first and to compensate the victims of climate change. Main elements of a viable
regime must be built on core principles of equity and fairness and include an appropriate balance of
rights and obligations. The scientifically backed maximum temperature raise of 2°C should guide
CAN argues in favour of a multi stage approach operating on the same or a very similar timetable
divided in three tracks: a Kyoto track for developed countries, a Greening (decarbonisation) track for
developing countries and an Adaptation Track for those countries worst affected by climate change.
The Kyoto track builds upon the UNFCCC and the Kyoto Protocol approach, with its system of legally
binding absolute emission reductions and compliance regime. This track, with its legally binding
tradable emission obligations provides the core of a system that will drive rapid technological
development and diffusion, and provide the technological basis for win-win solutions to climate and
sustainable development objectives.
The ‘Greening’ (decarbonisation) track would drive the rapid introduction of clean technologies that
can reduce emissions and meet sustainable development objectives in developing countries. The
industrialized countries should provide resources and technology for this track but should do this in
partnership with the developing countries and not conditioned on other policies in a carrot and stick
way as seen in all too many other policy fields.
The Adaptation track provides the resources to the most vulnerable regions (especially small island
states, least developed countries) to deal with unavoidable climate changes. Least Developed
Countries will quite appropriately focus on adaptation for some time to come, since they are the most
vulnerable to climate change impacts and their contribution to emissions is tiny compared to their
population and development needs.1 Countries receiving support under the Adaptation track could
also operate in the Greening (decarbonisation) track.
The level and the character of the mitigation actions within this framework would be determined by
reference to agreed level of per capita emissions, ability or capacity to act
and historical responsibility.