[ID] COP17 EXCEEDS EXPECTATIONS BUT STILL FALLS FAR SHORT OF REQUIRED AMBITION
11 December 2011 - Independent Democrats Spokesperson on Environmental Affairs, Mr LANCE GREYLING says we need more countries besides those in the European Union to commit to ambitious reductions under the Kyoto Protocol. Now that major emitting countries from the developing world including India and China have agreed to consider an all inclusive treaty with legal force in the medium term, it is time for developed countries to step up to the plate and show that they are living up to their responsibilities in the short term...
The Independent Democrats (ID) Spokesperson on Environmental Affairs Lance Greyling, welcomes the fact that COP 17 has finally concluded with an agreement over a Durban Platform being reached.
‘It was clear going into this COP that some developed countries had no intent of living up to their historical responsibilities and committing to a second period of Kyoto Protocol with the levels of emission cuts required by science,’ states Mr Greyling.
‘The expectations for this COP were therefore unfortunately low, but thankfully we have managed to exceed those expectations by agreeing on the establishment of a Green Climate Fund; a Second Commitment period for the Kyoto Protocol and for the first time ever a tentative roadmap for the establishment of a truly global treaty that will bind all major emitting countries to emission reduction cuts.’
This is, however, not the time for complacency as there are still numerous loopholes which need to be closed if we are going to have any chance of preventing a 2 degree warmer world and the potential devastation that will bring.
Firstly, we need more countries besides those in the European Union to commit to ambitious reductions under the Kyoto Protocol. Now that major emitting countries from the developing world including India and China have agreed to consider an all inclusive treaty with legal force in the medium term, it is time for developed countries to step up to the plate and show that they are living up to their responsibilities in the short term. No longer can countries like the US, Canada, Russia and Japan use the excuse that they will not commit to anything unless India and China also commit to action.
The global stalemate has tentatively been broken, but in order to ensure progress, developed countries need to show that they are determined to make this work. This also needs to be expressed through real financial flows into the newly established Green Climate Fund so that developing countries can put in place measures to adapt to climate change and make the transition to a clean energy economy.
‘The ID also wishes to congratulate all the delegates and the COP Presidency for having the perseverance to continue proceedings until a deal was finally reached,’ says Greyling.
‘This has been the longest COP ever and it is testimony to all those concerned that we finally emerged with what is now dubbed the Durban Platform. Make no mistake though, the threat of a 4 degree warmer world is still very much with us, and what is ultimately needed is for the domestic political will in many countries to be significantly increased so that negotiators can come to the next COP with a far more ambitious mandate.
‘The platform has been
established, but it is going to require far greater political will than
is currently evident to live up to our global commitment of keeping
warming to below 2 degrees,’ Greyling says.
For media enquiries, contact Lance Greyling on 083 29 88 553