Kyoto vs Copenhagen in Cancun
The battle between the Kyoto Protocol and the Copenhagen Accord has come to the fore. Mexico is rumoured to be prepared to table a draft text based on the Accord, although the negotiators deny this. The US is talking up the Accord as a ‘balanced’ basis for negotiations.
One myth that should be put to bed now is the claim that the Accord is better than the Protocol, despite the lack of legal force behind its targets, because it covers more of the world’s emissions.
But that is because the Protocol was only ever intended to cover emissions from the rich world (the Annex generic cialis 1 countries) – for sound reasons of justice and responsibility.
Moreover the Protocol sits within the Bali Roadmap, negotiated three years ago, which defines how the overall process of agreement should extend from Kyoto to cover all global emissions.
So its a real red herring that the Accord includes more countries – especially as the pledges included are so weak, that according to UN analysis, they could lead to global temperature rises of more than 5ºC.
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Today’s Guardian newspaper , in the UK, reveals how support for the Accord has not been a product of rational debate and negotiation, but was achieved by the US through “spying, threats and promises of aid”. It’s not surprising, but confirms yet again what the US will do to get its way, regardless of the cost.
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Battles over finance continue, with the rather sad situation of the developing world queueing up to defend the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) – the tool with which Annex 1 countries can buy emissions reductions in the global south so as to offset their own failure to cut emissions at home.
The poorer nations like it that this generates revenue, but independent analyses have suggested that up to 60% of CDM emissions reductions claims could be seriously exaggerated.
Friends of the Earth Scotland has campaigned – successfully so far – to prevent Scottish Ministers buying such international carbon credits as a way to meet the targets under our climate change act.
However support for the CDM from the South might be partly because it is fairly tightly bound into structure and targets of the Kyoto Protocol. Its hard to see how the CDM could be maintained without major revisions, if the Protocol was abandoned.
Southern support for the CDM may be part of a bigger game, as well as a sign of the lack of trust in the financial promises made by the rich world.
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