Stay with Kyoto protocol, urges UN climate chief

October 7th, 2009 - 5:22 pm ICT by IANS  

By Joydeep Gupta
Bangkok, Oct 7 (IANS) “When I have only one pair of shoes, it makes sense to stay with that pair.” With these words, UN climate chief Yvo de Boer Wednesday came out clearly in favour of retaining the Kyoto Protocol to tackle global warming, despite strong efforts by many industrialised countries to dump it.

The issue has become the main point of contention in the Sep 28-Oct 9 talks here in preparation for the climate summit in Copenhagen this December. India, China and other developing countries are strongly opposing what they see as attempts by the industrialised countries - led by the US - to do away with the protocol, which the US has not joined.

In an informal chat, the Executive Secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) told IANS: “I think mitigation and financing will remain contentious till towards the end of the (Copenhagen) process.”

Mitigation of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by industrialised countries is at the heart of the Kyoto Protocol, an international treaty meant to tackle global warming that is being caused by the emissions. A senior Indian government delegate told IANS that the rich countries were “trying to dump the protocol because they have seen they cannot mitigate”.

De Boer agreed that financing developing countries to help them tackle the effects of climate change - such as reduced farm output, more frequent and more severe droughts, floods and storms and a rise in the sea level - would also remain contentious for the time being.

But, he pointed out, “a lot of progress has been made here in Bangkok in (other) substantive areas. There has been a lot of progress on transfer of (green) technologies to developing countries and especially on how these countries can be helped to adapt to the effects of climate change”.

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