Post-Kyoto Protocol negotiations on greenhouse gas emissions


Post-Kyoto Protocol negotiations on greenhouse gas emissions

The Kyoto Protocol is an extension of the 1992 UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), the world's first treaty to attempt to address global warming by limiting greenhouse gas emissions. The Protocol deals in detail with its first "commitment period", by the end of which most developed countries pledged to reduce their emissions by agreed amounts. This period is due to expire at the end of 2012. The treaty came into force on February 16, 2005. Discussions on how to proceed beyond Kyoto's first period have been ongoing as part of the UNFCCC process. High level talks, referred to by some as post-Kyoto negotiations were also held at the meeting of the G8+5 Climate Change Dialogue in February 2007.cite web
url=http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/6364663.stm
title= Politicians sign new climate pact
publisher=BBC
date= 2007-02-16
accessdate= 2007-05-28
] [cite web
url=http://www.boston.com/news/science/articles/2007/05/14/climate_talks_face_international_hurdles/
title=Climate talks face international hurdles
publisher=Associated press
date=2007-05-14
accessdate=2007-08-03
]

February 2007 Washington Declaration

In the non-binding 'Washington Declaration' agreed on February 16, 2007, Presidents or Prime Ministers from Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia, United Kingdom, the United States, Brazil, China, India, Mexico and South Africa agreed in principle to a global cap-and-trade system that would apply to both industrialized nations and developing countries, which they hoped would be in place by 2009. [cite web
url=http://environment.guardian.co.uk/climatechange/story/0,,2014683,00.html
title=Guardian Unlimited: Global leaders reach climate change agreement
accessdate=2007-05-28
] ::" [http://www.globeinternational.org/content.php?id=2:9:0:48:0 Official G8+5 Climate Change Dialogue Web site] "

33rd G8 summit

On June 7, 2007, leaders at the 33rd G8 summit issued a non-binding communiqué announcing that the G8 nations would 'aim to at least halve global CO2 emissions by 2050'. The details enabling this to be achieved would be negotiated by environment ministers within the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in a process that would also include the major emerging economies. Groups of countries would also be able to reach additional agreements on achieving the goal outside and in parallel with the United Nations process.cite web
url=http://www.g-8.de/nn_92160/Content/EN/Artikel/__g8-summit/2007-06-07-g8-klimaschutz__en.html
title=Breakthrough on climate protection
publisher=G8 Summit 2007 Heiligendamm
date=2007-06-07
accessdate=2007-06-07
] The G8 also announced their desire to use the proceeds from the auction of emission rights and other financial tools to support climate protection projects in developing countries.

The agreement was welcomed by British Prime Minister Tony Blair as 'a major, major step forward'. [ [http://www.guardian.co.uk/uklatest/story/0,,-6691506,00.html PM hails G8 climate change step] "Guardian Unlimited", published 2007-06-07, accessed 2007-06-07] French president Nicolas Sarkozy would have preferred a binding figure for emissions reduction to have been set. [ [http://www.forbes.com/markets/feeds/afx/2007/06/07/afx3799654.html Sarkozy says would have preferred climate change target to be binding] , "Forbes", published 2007-06-07, accessed 2007-06-07] This was apparently blocked by U.S. President George W. Bush until the other major greenhouse gas emitting countries, like India and China, make similar commitments. [ [http://www.alertnet.org/thenews/newsdesk/L07182869.htm G8 leaders agree "substantial" greenhouse gas cuts] , "Reuters", published 2007-06-07, accessed 2007-06-07] ::" [http://www.g-8.de/Webs/G8/EN/Homepage/home.html Official G8 Web site] "

2007 UN General Assembly plenary debate

As part of the schedule leading up to the September UN High-Level-Event, on July 31 the United Nations General Assembly opened its first-ever plenary session devoted exclusively to climate change, which also included prominent scientists and business leaders.cite web
url=http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=23364
title=In first plenary on climate change, General Assembly to seek speedy action
publisher=United Nations
date=2007-07-30
accessdate=2007-08-03
] The debate, at which nearly 100 nations spoke, was scheduled to last two days but was extended for a further day to allow a greater number of 'worried nations' to describe their climate-related problems.cite web
url=http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,292008,00.html
title=UN Climate-Change Conference Extended Extra Day
publisher=Fox News
date=2007-08-03
accessdate=2007-08-03
]

In his opening speech, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon urged Member States to work together, stating that the time had come for 'decisive action on a global scale', and called for a 'comprehensive agreement under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change process that tackles climate change on all fronts, including adaptation, mitigation, clean technologies, deforestation and resource mobilization'.cite web
url=http://www.un.org/News/Press/docs//2007/ga10607.doc.htm
title=Secretary-General Challenges World Community To Tackle Climate Change Head-on
publisher=United Nations
date=2007-07-31
accessdate=2007-08-03
] In closing the conference General Assembly President Haya Rashed Al-Khalifa called for an 'equitable, fair and ambitious global deal to match the scale of the challenges ahead'. She had earlier stressed the urgency of the situation, stating that 'the longer we wait, the more expensive this will be'.

The day after the session ended, the UN launched its [http://www.un.org/climatechange/ new climate change web site] detailing its activities relating to global warming.cite web
url=http://www.un.org/News/Press/docs/2007/envdev947.doc.htm
title=United Nations Launches New Climate Change Internet Site
publisher=United Nations
date=2007-08-03
accessdate=2007-08-03
] ::" [http://www.un.org/ga/president/61/follow-up/thematic-climate.shtml Official UN web site] "

2007 Vienna Climate Change Talks and Agreement

A round of climate change talks under the auspices of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) concluded in Austria in 31 August 2007 with agreement on key elements for an effective international response to climate change. [ [http://unfccc.int/files/press/news_room/press_releases_and_advisories/application/pdf/20070831_vienna_closing_press_release.pdf Microsoft Word - 20070831_vienna_closing_press_release.doc ] ] [ [http://unfccc.int/files/press/news_room/press_releases_and_advisories/application/pdf/20070823_investment_and_financial_flows_english.pdf Report] and [http://unfccc.int/files/cooperation_and_support/financial_mechanism/financial_mechanism_gef/application/pdf/dialogue_working_paper_8.pdf fully Report] and [http://unfccc.int/kyoto_protocol/items/3878.php Ad Hoc Working Group] .]

A key feature of the talks was a United Nations report that showed how energy efficiency could yield significant cuts in emissions at low cost.

The talks are meant to set the stage for a major international meeting to be held in Bali in December.

eptember 2007 United Nations High-Level-Event

Alongside the meeting of the United Nations General Assembly, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is to hold informal high-level discussions on the post-Kyoto treaty on September 24. It is expected that these will pave the way for the United Nations Climate Change Conference, being held in Bali in December 2007.cite web
url=http://www.un.org/climatechange/2007highlevel/index.shtml
title=Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon Announces High-Level Event on Climate Change for September
publisher=United Nations
date=2007
accessdate=2007-08-03
] Three Special Envoys on Climate Change, appointed on May 1, 2007,cite web
url=http://www.un.org/climatechange/2007highlevel/envoys.shtml
title=UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon Appoints Special Envoys on Climate Change
publisher=United Nations
date=2007
accessdate=2007-08-03
] are holding discussions with various governments to define and plan the event.

In advance of the 'High-Level-Event', the Secretary-General hoped that world leaders would 'send a powerful political signal to the negotiations in Bali that “business as usual” will not do and that they are ready to work jointly with others towards a comprehensive multilateral framework for action'.cite web
url=http://www.un.org/climatechange/background/sginitiatives.shtml
title=UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s Initiatives on Climate Change
publisher=United Nations
date=
accessdate=2007-08-03
] ::" [http://www.un.org/climatechange/2007highlevel/about.shtml Official UN Web site] "

eptember 2007 Washington conference

It emerged on August 3, 2007, that representatives of the United Nations, major industrialized and developing countries are being invited by George Bush to a conference in Washington on September 27 and 28.cite web
url=http://www.reuters.com/article/topNews/idUSWBT00734620070803
title=Bush sets global climate meeting
publisher=Reuters
date=2007-08-03
accessdate=2007-08-03
] cite web
url=http://www.forbes.com/feeds/ap/2007/08/03/ap3985654.html
title=Bush Seeks Discussion of Climate Change
publisher=Forbes
date=2007-08-03
accessdate=2007-08-03
] Countries invited are believed to include the members of the G8+5 (Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia, United Kingdom, United States, Brazil, China, India, Mexico and South Africa), together with South Korea, Australia, Indonesia and South Africa. The meeting is to be hosted by US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, and is envisaged as the first of several extending into 2008. Initial reaction to the news of the conference invitation was mixed.cite web
url=http://www.reuters.com/article/topNews/idUSN0332015320070803
title=Instant view:Bush sets global climate meeting
publisher=Reuters
date=2007-08-03
accessdate=2007-08-03
]

2007 United Nations Climate Change Conference

Negotiations on a successor to the Kyoto Protocol dominated the 2007 United Nations Climate Change Conference conference. A meeting of environment ministers and experts held in June called on the conference to agree a road-map, timetable and 'concrete steps for the negotiations' with a view to reaching an agreement by 2009.cite web
url=http://www.iht.com/articles/ap/2007/06/14/europe/EU-GEN-Sweden-Environment-Conference.php
title=Environment leaders say U.N. summit should set timeline for post-Kyoto agreement
publisher=International Herald Tribune
date=07-06-14
accessdate=2007-08-03
]

2008 United Nations Climate Change Conference

The 2008 conference will be held in December 2008 in Poznán, Poland. [ [http://www.polskieradio.pl/thenews/foreign-affairs/?id=71191 The News | Foreign Affairs ] ] 2000 delegates from 162 countries and their personnel flew to the venue to work on the "nuts and bolts" of an "agreement." At this point, there has been little mentionable documentation of effective carbon emission reduction by any of the participating countries. Attacks are still being made at the US, Earth's largest per-capita carbon emissions polluter. [* June 3, 2008: [http://www.taipeitimes.com/News/world/archives/2008/06/03/2003413687 Meeting turns to nuts and bolts of climate change] ]

2009 United Nations Climate Change Conference

The 2009 conference is scheduled to be held in December 2009 in Copenhagen, Denmark, [ [http://www.ireland.com/newspaper/frontpage/2007/1215/1197543946992.html ireland.com - The Irish Times - Sat, Dec 15, 2007 - Climate agreement close after all-night bargaining ] ] and the treaty succeeding the Kyoto Protocol is expected to be adopted there. [ [http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/7145608.stm BBC NEWS | Science/Nature | Climate deal sealed by US U-turn ] ]

Potential topics to be discussed include carbon capture and storage, biofuels, adaptation financing, technology transfer, sustainable agriculture, emissions targets and tropical forests.

Development of technologies will be important to reduce carbon emissions. Even if all carbon emissions stopped tomorrow, global warming would continue for the next 30 years. cite web
url= http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1693750,00.html
title= "Nature's Remedy."
author= Bettelheim, Eric
publisher=TIME
date= 2007-12-12
accessdate= 2008-07-16
] James E. Rogers, CEO of Duke Energy and member of Copenhagen Climate Council said “It is a myth that we have the technologies to do the job. We don’t. New technologies are crucial as is further development of existing technology.” [cite web
url= http://copenhagenclimatecouncil.com
title= Copenhagen Climate Council.
publisher=Copenhagen Climate Council
accessdate=2008-07-16
]

Some media sources claim that the meeting will lead to empty promises without measurable goals. In a recent meeting of the Group of Eight G8, the world top leaders agreed to halve carbon emissions by 2050; however, they did not set specific targets because they did not agree on a base year. [cite web
url= http://www.dw-world.de/dw/article/0,2144,3472192,00.html
title= G8 Summit Ends with Pledges on Food, Oil and the Climate.
publisher=Deutsche Welle
date=2008-07-09
accessdate=2008-07-16
]

However members of the climate council acknowledge that action needs to happen fast.“My personal view is that the future of humanity is at stake,” said Tim Flannery, Professor at Macquaire University and chairman of the Copenhagen Climate Council, in an interview with chinadialogue.net. [cite web
url= http://www.chinadialogue.net/debate/show/6-Bali-to-Copenhagen
title= Interview with Tim Flannery.
publisher=chinadialogue
date=2008-07-09
accessdate=2008-07-16
]

ee also

*Action on climate change
*Avoiding Dangerous Climate Change
*Tragedy of the commons
*List of countries by carbon dioxide emissions
*List of countries by carbon dioxide emissions per capita
*List of countries by greenhouse gas emissions per capita
*List of countries by ratio of GDP to carbon dioxide emissions
*Low-carbon and post-carbon economies
*Plug-in hybrid
*Technology Transfer
*Carbon Capture and Storage

References

External links

* [http://www.un.org/climatechange/ United Nations Climate Change web site]
* [http://knowledge.allianz.com/en/special/bali_climate_policy.html Climate Policy after the Bali Summit] , Allianz Knowledge Site, January 2008
* [http://walrusmagazine.com/articles/2008.03-sightings-global-warming-and-topics/ Bali Dancing, The Walrus article on Canada's much-criticized failure to uphold Kyoto, 2008]

Policy options

* [http://www.aei-brookings.org/publications/abstract.php?pid=1035 An International Policy Architecture for the Post-Kyoto Era] , S Olmstead & R Stavins, AEI-Brookings Joint Center for Regulatory Studies, 2006
* [http://www.iisd.org/publications/pub.aspx?id=743 Governing Climate: The Struggle For A Global Framework Beyond Kyoto] , Taishi Sugiyama (editor), International Institute for Sustainable Development, 2005
* [http://fletcher.tufts.edu/news/2005/04/najam.shtml Imagining a Post-Kyoto Climate Regime] , Prof. Adil Najam, Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, 2005
* [http://www.tyndall.ac.uk/generate/pubpages/paper-view.php?id=367&name=TWP82 An analysis of a post-Kyoto climate policy model] , K Anderson & A Bows, Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research, 2005
* [http://www.pewclimate.org/global-warming-in-depth/all_reports/climate_dialogue_at_pocantico/ International Climate Efforts Beyond 2012] , Pew Center on Global Climate Change, 2005


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