Reuters | Wed Apr 21, 2010 | 12:19pm IST
A bloc of the world’s fastest growing carbon emitters, seen as key to a global deal on climate change, appears for the first time willing to discuss the future of the Kyoto Protocol to get the United States on board. Kyoto binds about 40 rich nations to cut emissions by 2008-12 and developing countries want a tougher second commitment period. That demand is opposed by many developed nations that want to jettison Kyoto to include emerging markets like India and China. Next week’s meeting of the environment ministers of Brazil, South Africa, India and China – the so-called BASIC nations – will look at ways to bridge a trust deficit with rich nations, according to its agenda, a copy of which was obtained by Reuters.
"How long will the Kyoto Protocol survive? Could we envisage a shorter second commitment period designed solely to secure carbon markets?" said the agenda of the meeting to be held in South Africa on April 25-26. "If no second commitment period, what would replace Kyoto?" was another question listed on the agenda. Unmitigated distrust between rich and poorer nations about who should do how much has stalled negotiations for a global deal to fight climate change. Officials say they are less hopeful of a broader deal in Mexico in November. So a willingness on the part of the BASIC nations to soften their stand on the Kyoto Protocol could help break the negotiations logjam and bring on board the United States which never ratified the protocol.
Davos | Reuters | Fri Jan 29, 2010 | 2:26am IST
U.N. climate talks will “probably not” agree an ambitious deal this year unless the economy improves and voters press for action, said India’s top climate official Shyam Saran. “If the economic and financial crisis continues or even worsens during the coming year then the kind of ambitious response that the world expects is probably not going to happen,” said India’s special envoy on climate change, on the fringes of a business and policy summit in Davos. “But if the situation improves … if there is much more public opinion pressure on governments domestically … that remains to be seen.”
The financial crisis had contributed to deadlock at last month’s climate talks, by heightening concerns that climate laws would drive jobs overseas, for example to the developing world, if they faced less onerous targets, said Saran. Saran hinted at compromise, however, on a major stumbling block in Copenhagen last month — but the United States first must agree to make its proposed targets to curb carbon emissions enforceable under international law. The United States never ratified the existing Kyoto Protocol, whose present commitments expire in 2012, and time is running out for the world to agree and then ratify a successor pact. The United States has said it will not sign up to an extended Kyoto Protocol, preferring a new agreement. Continue reading
Reuters blog | December 23rd, 2009 | 03:26
Sweden complained that the recent Copenhagen climate change summit was a “disaster.” British Prime Minister Gordon Brown described it as “at best flawed and at worst chaotic.” Sudan’s U.N. ambassador, Abdalmahmoud Abdalhaleem, dubbed the outcome confirmation of “climate apartheid.” For South Africa it was simply “not acceptable.” U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, who for over a year had been urging the 192 members of the United Nations to “seal the deal” in Copenhagen, saw things differently. In a statement issued by his press office, Ban said the two-week meeting had a “successful conclusion with substantive outcomes.” Speaking to reporters, the secretary-general expanded on that: “Finally we sealed the deal. And it is a real deal. Bringing world leaders to the table paid off.” However, he tempered his praise for the participating delegations by noting that the outcome “may not be everything that everyone hoped for.”
In fact, the outcome fell far short of what Ban had been calling for over the last year. He had originally hoped the meeting would produce a legally binding agreement with ambitious targets for reducing carbon dioxide emissions and funding to help developing nations cope with global warming. Instead, it “noted” an accord struck by the United States, China and other emerging powers that were widely criticized as Continue reading
Reuters | NEW DELHI | Wed Dec 23, 2009 | 5:24pm IST
The grouping of China, India, Brazil and South Africa has emerged as a significant force in Copenhagen and they could lead the way in future negotiations, the head of the U.N. climate panel said on Wednesday. A climate change meeting ended last week in Copenhagen with a non-legally binding political agreement at the last moment between the United States and the big developing countries — China, India, Brazil and South Africa that forms the BASIC group. The next climate change meet is in Mexico next year, where countries hope to reach a legally binding agreement.
“What has happened politically which is very significant is the emergence of this grouping of Brazil, South Africa, India and China,” Rajendra Pachauri, chairman of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) said in New Delhi. “Undoubtedly whatever agreement comes into existence by the time Mexico completes its conference of the parties, will necessarily have to deal with the power of this group (BASIC).” In November, the BASIC countries forged a united front in Beijing to put pressure on developed countries in Copenhagen. India said the BASIC countries were successful in thwarting global pressure to agree to a legally-binding emissions cut. Continue reading
Reuters | COPENHAGEN | Sat Dec 19, 2009 | 6:04am IST
A climate deal among world leaders including U.S. President Barack Obama puts off many tough decisions until 2010 and sets the planet on track to overshoot goals for limiting global warming. Obama spoke of “the beginning of a new era of international action” but many other leaders said it was “imperfect”, “not sufficient” and at best a “modest success” if it gets formally adopted by all 193 nations in Copenhagen on Saturday. Problems faced by China and the United States — the world’s top emitters — stood in the way of a stronger deal for the world’s first pact to combat climate change since the U.N.’s Kyoto Protocol in 1997.
In big advances, the deal adds a promise of $100 billion a year to help developing nations from 2020 and promotes the use of forests to soak up carbon dioxide. But it is unclear where the cash will come from. European leaders fell in reluctantly after Obama announced the deal with China, India, South Africa and Brazil. It was drafted by 28 nations ranging from OPEC oil producers to small island states. A drawback is that the deal is not legally binding — a key demand of many developing nations. The text instead suggests an end-2010 deadline for transforming it into a legal text that had long been expected in Copenhagen. Continue reading
Reuters | Fri Dec 18, 2009 | 9:10pm IST
World leaders tried to rescue a global climate agreement on Friday but the failure of leading greenhouse gas emitters China and the United States to come up with new proposals blocked chances of an ambitious deal. U.S. President Barack Obama and other leaders are trying to reach consensus on carbon emissions cuts, financial aid to poor nations, temperature caps and international scrutiny of emissions curbs. There has been progress in some areas, but gaps remain over emissions targets and monitoring, delegates said. “We are ready to get this done today but there has to be movement on all sides, to recognise that it is better for us to act than talk,” Obama told the conference. “These international discussions have essentially taken place now for almost two decades and we have very little to show for it other than an increase, an acceleration of the climate change phenomenon. The time for talk is over.”
At stake is an agreement for coordinated global action to avert climate change including more floods and droughts. Two weeks of talks in Copenhagen have battled suspicion between rich and poor countries over how to share out emissions cuts. Developing countries, among them Continue reading
Reuters | Wed Dec 16, 2009 | 6:08pm IST
The Kyoto Protocol which binds nearly 40 rich nations to limit carbon emissions is in “intensive care” and global negotiations to extend the pact have stalled, India’s environment minister said on Wednesday. More than 190 countries are meeting in Copenhagen to agree the outlines of a new global deal to combat climate change, hoping to seal a full treaty next year to succeed the Kyoto Protocol. Developing countries want rich nations to be held to their Kyoto obligations, and sign up to a second round of tougher commitments from 2013. But Jairam Ramesh said many developed countries were “vehemently opposing” the protocol and some of them wanted a single new accord obliging all nations to fight global warming. “The sense we get is that Kyoto is in intensive care if not dead,” Ramesh told reporters.
The protocol obliges nearly 40 industrialised nations to limit emissions by at least 5.2 percent below 1990 levels by 2008-12. It does not impose curbs on poorer nations. Talks on a pact to succeed Kyoto have been sluggish since they started two years ago, largely because rich nations want to merge Kyoto into a single new accord obliging all nations to fight global warming. Industrialised nations want a single track largely because the United States, the world’s second biggest carbon emitter, never ratified Kyoto. They fear signing up for a binding new Continue reading