Rich countries scheme to ditch Kyoto targets

Rich countries scheme to ditch Kyoto targets

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The final negotiating days before Copenhagen just wrapped up today in Barcelona. At this point, prospects for reaching a meaningful international climate agreement in December are dim. Wealthy countries continue to refuse to make strong commitments. U.S. negotiators have made clear that they want a new agreement based on pledge and review – a system that will ditch agreed global targets for emissions reductions and the compliance provisions needed to enforce them. Instead of extending and strengthening countries’ commitments under the Kyoto Protocol, as these discussions were intended to do, there is now a push to scrap it for a non-binding alternative. This will be a huge step backwards that science says we cannot risk. 

Frustration throughout the international community was clear earlier this week when the African delegation refused to negotiate further until rich countries agreed on emissions reductions commitments. Although this brave effort refocused discussions on the importance of emissions reductions, a lot of work remains to be done before Copenhagen for agreement to be reached. Governments of wealthy countries, particularly the United States, need to commit to strong emissions reductions and finance for climate needs in order to live up to their responsibilities. It wouldn’t hurt President Obama, either, in fulfilling his pledge to earn his Nobel Peace Prize. 

Read our blog post on Open Left.  

Read the statement from Friends of the Earth International released at the end of the climate talks this week. 

Also, check out previous updates from Kate in Barcelona: 

Africa’s protest pushes focus back on emissions reductions 

Africa stands up for binding targets

Barcelona climate talks start off on best possible footing, finally