Japan says no to second commitment period of Kyoto Protocol - Oxfam comment

Published: 30 November 2010

Reacting to Japan’s statement that it would not ratify a second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol, Tim Gore, Climate Advisor for Oxfam said:

Japan risks cutting one of the world’s lifelines in the fight against climate change. Poor people around the world, struggling to cope with more severe droughts and floods, need the world to build on the binding framework for cutting emissions in the Kyoto Protocol, not roll them back.”

Having trailed their opposition to the continuation of the Kyoto Protocol extensively in build-up to the Cancun Summit, Japan used the opening plenary of the UNFCCC meeting to announce that it would not, under any circumstances, commit to new mitigation targets under a second commitment period to the Kyoto Protocol. 

Many developed countries - including Canada, Australia and New Zealand - have expressed strong reservations about extending the Kyoto Protocol and the EU has said they would only consider it under certain conditions. However Japan's announcement makes it the first country to refuse to ratify a second commitment period under any circumstances

The Kyoto Protocol, which expires in 2012, is the only existing international framework with legally binding emission reduction targets for developed countries. The agreement of a second commitment period is priority for developing countries in the climate talks.
 
This move by Japan throws into question the shape of the future international climate regime, and could seriously jeopardize attempts to rebuild trust between rich and poor countries in efforts to secure a “balanced” package in Cancun.

Contact Information

Lucy Brinicombe, Senior Press Officer - Climate Change, Oxfam tel +44 (0)1865 472192, m +44 (0)7786 110054, @lucybrinicombe

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