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Kyoto + Copenhagen = Solution?

10/08/09

Tyler Hess, Kentucky, USA

The Climate Action Network (CAN) recently held their second to last conference today in Bangkok, Thailand during the Bangkok Climate Change Talks. There were three speakers on today’s panel:

1. Nelson Muffuh from Christian Aid, an NGO within C.A.N.. His main focus was that of emphasizing the importance of frameworks. He wants to make sure that any commitment in Copenhagen will be legally binding, yet offered no concrete solutions on how to make sure that such an agreement would be. Noting that Annex 1 countries must be forced to reduce emissions, developing countries must also make individual goals.

2. Dale Marshall of the Suzuki Foundation of Canada. Mr. Marshall made many important statements. First, there needs to be a shorter commitment period; he suggest 5 years. This way, countries would have to report back more often and be checked for progress. But more updates aren’t the only improvement he suggested. Marshall wants to make sure that restrictions are increased. The science is in and we need to increase our reduction commitments. Lastly, there needs to be a constant base year!! We are all tired of wondering whether countries are reducing their emissions based upon 1990 or 2005 levels. Canada (which has committed to a measly 3% reduction by 2020) is is the only country which opposes this initiative.

3. Board Lohn Friends of the Earth Norway. Mr. Lohn’s main focus was revealing Norway’s increased reduction commitment. Before Bali and up to yesterday, Norway had committed to a 30% reduction, using 1990 levels, by 2020. However, Norway now has upped that to 40%!! An Annex 1 country taking a lead such as this is just what we need! Details are unclear as to how this will be accomplished, but the government will review the plan after restrictions are further set in Copenhagen.

During question time, Muffuh took most of the questions and discussed the the Climate Action Network supports building upon the Kyoto Protocol, not abolishing it. Instead, CAN wants Kyoto to be the building block and add the negotiations and commitments decided in Copenhagen to the already existing treaty. He also noted that financing of this global commitment will be quite the tough issue.

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