STATEMENT: CAP’s Andrew Light on International Climate Change Talks in Bonn
Washington, D.C. — Andrew Light, Senior Fellow and Director of International Climate Policy at the Center for American Progress, released the following statement on the final week of the intersessional meetings of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in Bonn:
The intercessional climate negotiations now taking place in Bonn, Germany, have introduced a sharp division between those countries that want to work on the agenda set by the Cancun Agreements last December and those who want to focus on the future of the Kyoto Protocol. The progress made last year, due in large part to Mexican diplomats who built a set of agreements from more than 190 parties, encompasses several substantive areas including mitigation, adaptation, finance, technology cooperation, and forestry. Unfortunately, the same parties that are now meeting in Bonn risk derailing the U.N. process and squandering the success of Cancun by engaging in an agenda fight.
The importance of the Kyoto Protocol cannot be underestimated; it is the only existing climate treaty that requires some signatory parties to reduce their emissions by a certain amount on a specific date. This treaty will go into hibernation in 2012 unless a second commitment period is agreed to by the parties but, given the enormous increase in emissions by countries not obligated to reduce their emissions under the Kyoto Protocol, even a stringent continuation of the treaty will do little to reduce climate pollution.
This showdown is completely unproductive for the future of any agreement that can move us toward climate safety. The world needs a plan B and the agreements at Cancun were a start. As India’s environment minister Jairam Ramesh put it, “Cancun provided us with a work plan and we should stop interpreting and rather implement it.” The assembled parties in Bonn should take that advice and move forward before we all come to doubt the integrity of this process again.
- The Fight Over International Climate Investments, April 7, 2011
- Key Pact in Global Warming Fight, December 17, 2010
- The Cancun Compromise, December 13, 2010
- Has Japan Killed the Kyoto Protocol?, December 8, 2010
- The U.S. Role in International Climate Finance, December 6, 2010