The Slovenia Times

Slovenia Welcomes Kyoto Extension


Environment Ministry Official Andrej Kranjc underscored that the negotiators had managed to adopt a second target phase of the Kyoto Protocol which places binding greenhouse gas emission targets on the countries involved, which however only produce about 15% of global emissions.

Kranjc, speaking to the STA after the conclusion of the conference in Doha late on Saturday, said an agreement on the financing to help developing countries cope with climate change was postponed to 2013.

Criticism was mainly targeted at Canada, Japan, Russia and New Zealand, which opted out from the second phase of the Kyoto Protocol.

Apart from agreeing the second phase of the protocol, the conference also agreed rules for the transfer of excess emission units, most of which are held by Russia, Ukraine and Central and East European EU member states except for Slovenia. The deal within the EU comes after nearly three years of negotiation.

The conference meanwhile failed to tackle the issue of CO2 emission reduction needed to curb temperatures from rising more than 2 degrees Celsius compared to preindustrial times, as some had expected.

"But [the conference] secured a continuation of the Kyoto Protocol thus bridging the period until 2020 when a new global treaty is expected to take effect," Kranjc said.

He assessed the conclusions were an important success for the EU as the conference adopted most of what the 27-nation bloc had advocated.

For Slovenia and the EU, the second phase of Kyoto brings nothing new considering the same binding obligations are set down in the EU climate and energy package.

Some conclusions meanwhile bring certain new financial obligations due to planned analyses, workshops etc. to be financed by developed nations, including Slovenia.

Commenting on the conclusions of the Doha conference, Slovenian MEP Romana Jordan (EPP/SDS) pointed to a wide gap between countries' positions on how to curb global warming and adapt to climate change.

The conclusions showed that some industrialised nations are assuming responsibility for action against climate change, she said, arguing that the financial and economic crisis should not be an excuse but rather an opportunity for action.

"Much more will need to be done when it comes to equality in assuming the burden, that is equality in relation to the individual country's capabilities," the MEP said, arguing that some countries' non-binding promises on emission cuts should be far more ambitions to prevent global temperatures from rising above 2 degrees Celsius.

Since the countries that signed on to the second phase of Kyoto represent less than 15% of global emissions, these will not be reduced, but will only increase further, she warned.

The MEP also pointed to the EU's leading role in the financial assistance to help developing countries cope with climate change. The European Commission, Germany, the UK, France, the Netherlands, Sweden and Denmark pledged to contribute EUR 6.85bn annually as aid to poor countries by 2020.


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