IN THE SPOTLIGHT
EaP Civil Society Forum call EU to lead in preserving and promoting the second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol
Tagged under Steering Committee
STATEMENT OF THE EASTERN PARTNERSHIP CIVIL SOCIETY FORUM
calls for EU to lead in preserving and promoting the second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol
We, participants of the Civil Society Forum of the Eastern Partnership, express our concern about delays in the process of international negotiations on climate change. We strongly believe that it is important to take all necessary political, economic and other measures to prevent further negative anthropogenic influence on the climate, and to use every opportunity to limit the global temperature increase to a maximum of 1.5 degrees as compared with the pre-industrial period.
Objectively assessing the situation in the negotiation process under the UNFCCC (United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change), we encourage participants of the 17th Conference of the Parties to the UNFCCC in Durban, South Africa to concentrate their efforts on solving the most pressing issues currently facing the world community in the negotiating process:
• rapid development and adoption of a comprehensive international legally binding agreement;
• reaching agreement under which the second period of the Kyoto Protocol will be adopted prior to the adoption of the comprehensive legally binding agreement.
At the moment, the Kyoto Protocol is the only legally binding instrument providing commitments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, the timeframe and clear mechanisms for implementation. The Kyoto Protocol contains all the essential elements of monitoring, financial and technical assistance and economic effectiveness. Rejection of the Kyoto Protocol will further slow down the negotiation process, will eliminate the results already achieved by reduction of emissions of greenhouse gases, and cause uncertainty in the situation of both developing countries (including Azerbaijan, Armenia, Georgia, and the Republic of Moldova) and countries undergoing transition to a market economy (including Belarus and Ukraine).
We insist that the decision on a future post-Kyoto climate regime must be a key decision of the 17th Conference of the Parties to the UNFCCC in Durban as the first commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol terminates on 31 December 2012, and ratification of the Annex to the Protocol containing further commitments for reductions in greenhouse-gas emissions for the second commitment period will take a long time. Delaying a decision until the 18th Conference of the Parties at the end of 2012 would inevitably lead to an unacceptable legal gap in the commitment period.
Climate change has already caused significant damage to the ecosystems and socio-economic situation of our countries, and the uncertainty of the climate regime after 2012 will further increase the existing risk factors. The second period of the Kyoto Protocol is important for the six neighbouring countries that are party to the European Union's Eastern Partnership initiative - which comprise developing countries and countries undergoing the process of transition to a market economy.
Only the adoption of the second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol can maintain the sustainability and continuity of functioning of such elements of the international climate regime as the Clean Development Mechanism and financial and technological assistance, which are vitally important to developing countries.
In addition, only the second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol will provide an opportunity to fix the legally binding targets to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions in countries undergoing the process of transition to a market economy, and at the same time to preserve such an important mechanism as the Joint Implementation projects for the Eastern Partner countries.
In the current situation when some of the largest emitters of greenhouse gases have refused to participate in the second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol, the role and responsibility of the European Union increases critically.
We are strongly convinced that the European Union, as on the one hand one of the major emitters of greenhouse gases and on the other hand a recognised leader in the fight against global climate change, must take a leading role in preserving and promoting the second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol until the adoption of a comprehensive legally binding agreement.
30th of November 2011,
EaP Civil Society Forum,