INDEPENDENT NEWS

Kyoto Protocol Weak But Alive

Published: Tue 24 Jul 2001 10:25 AM
Compromise Deal Keeps Kyoto Protocol Weak But Alive
Green Party co-leader Jeanette Fitzsimons today welcomed the compromise deal on greenhouse gas emissions struck at Bonn yesterday.
"While the Kyoto protocol has been watered down, at least it is still alive and offers hope to the world that global warming can be tackled effectively," she said. "While it won't do much for the climate, it will change international politics to know that a global deal can be reached without the United States' participation.
"The most important achievement at Bonn was to show that the world can move forward on an issue of planetary importance without the United States.
"It is as though the rest of the world has grown up, decided to act collectively and leave the bully in his corner. Hopefully that will breach the stranglehold that one country has had over international politics and international action."
Ms Fitzsimons said the Kyoto protocol, as it now stands, will do little for the climate in the next 15 years.
"But the framework is now in place, and as the effects of global warming bite deeper, that framework can be used to negotiate more realistic greenhouse reductions for the period after 2012."
"It sticks in the throats of environmentalists that the agreement has been reached by allowing the largest per capita polluters even more "flexibility" - for example to trade improved management of existing forests for the right to emit greenhouse gases.
"Realistically, this flexibility means that countries signed up to the protocol will be able to pump out significantly more greenhouse gases than the targets originally set in Kyoto. Exactly how much more won't be known until the details of the Bonn compromise are reached and released.
"On its own, this protocol won't solve global warming, but it is an essential step on the way.
Ends

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