India resists pressure to go beyond Kyoto Protocol

India resists pressure to go beyond Kyoto Protocol


A large globe featuring an interactive display sits in a central square in Copenhagen. Reuters

The tiny Pacific island of Tuvalu once again raised the proposal of adding another protocol to the Kyoto Protocol.

Developing nations especially India, China, South Africa and Brazil are sticking to a one protocol approach.

"Our focus is on heightened implementation of the convention," Vijay Sharma, India's Environment Secretary told the gathered negotiators. "The spotlight is on existing commitments."

Tuvalu is a small island state where people live two meters above sea level and it could be swamped by rising sea levels.

Tuvalu's representative Ian Fry requested the minister of the Copenhagen Conference, Connie Hedegaard to immediately form a contact group to consider the proposal for a new protocol that calls for vigorous action, such as binding cuts and puts less than 1.5 degree limit in warming, by developed countries and emerging economies.

President Connie Hedegaard had to suspend the work of the COP following a deadlock on the issue with some nations like European Union and Australia supporting it.

Developing nations like India, China, and oil producing states including Saudi Arabia have opposed it on the ground that there should not be any detraction from Kyoto Protocol, the treaty that imposes legally binding sanctions on industrialized nations, excluding the US.

India and other nations suspect that Europe's support for a new protocol is also an attempt to weaken the Kyoto Protocol.

"Several provisions in the draft are inconsistent and obviously in conflict with the convention provisions pertinent to historical responsibility and equity," Sharma said.

"There are articles bracketing the Annex 1 and non-Annex countries and allows Annex 1 to abandon Kyoto, which is not the right message to give at this point of time," he added.

The Kyoto Protocol sets binding targets for 37 industrialized countries, called Annex 1 countries, for reducing greenhouse emissions to an average of 5% against 1990 levels between 2008-2012.

However, Tuvalu and Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS) have said here that the Copenhagen summit needs to produce a document much stronger than the Kyoto Protocol that neither puts obligations on US nor on emerging economies.

Sweden's environment minister Andreas Carlgren told reporters, "If we were to end up with an agreement where the only legally binding part would be the Kyoto Protocol then we would not manage to achieve what is needed."

Fry has repeatedly stated that his country do not want to "kill" the Kyoto Protocol but to make it tougher on both developed and developing nations.

A major portion of this conference is to extend the Kyoto Protocol into its second commitment period starting from 2013 where developed countries have to make cuts will be listed in Annex B, which is a top priority for India and China at this climate meet.

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