Climate expert predicts new emission treaty

Climate expert predicts new emission treaty


Director General, TERI, R K Pachauri speaks at an interactive session on Implications of the Copenhagen Accord : Finding New Pathways to Sustainable Development, at TERI office in New Delhi on Wednesday. PTI

But the new agreement should contain the key Kyoto provisions as the world could not “possibly jump off the protocol at this time,” cautioned R K Pachauri, who heads the UN Inter-governmental Panel on Climate Change.

A fresh agreement with a brand new name is required to bring the US on board in a new global climate order. Without any US commitment on emission cuts, the global effort to cut down the level of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere will remain laggard.

A new agreement is also required because any legally-binding treaty with the Kyoto tag will not be approved by the American Senate since the US did not ratify the protocol.

In 2010, the negotiations will centre on how much of the Kyoto provisions can be copied and pasted onto the new legal agreement. A reassessment will be conducted to analyse whether the 1990 geo-political situation is still relevant or a new baseline is needed. In the last two decades, China has emerged as one of the world’s top emitters, which was not the case in 1990.

“The provisions of Kyoto should be safeguarded. Otherwise it will not be acceptable to many. The 1997 protocol was not respected by many developed countries which signed it,” he said. There is still a certain level of genuine apprehensions that the developed countries do not want to do what is expected of them. They rather prefer passing it on to others.

“The new legal agreement was expected to have a strong regime on punishment for errant countries. Unlike Kyoto, this time around there is more articulations on punitive measures,” Pachauri said.

Admitting that the BASIC —Brazil, south Africa, India and China—have emerged as a new entity that has to carry forward the momentum for reaching a full-fledged binding agreement in Mexico.  But the BASIC group has to carry some of the African nations, small island states and low lying areas like Bangladesh with them so that they should not feel alienated.

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