“It will be very necessary for Qatar to move towards mediating in issues relating to reduction of impacts of climate change and this will change the atmosphere of negotiations because the two most important countries in the world – China and the US – are very much involved in this issue and if Qatar should make a move, both countries will not have an excuse to do nothing,” he maintained.
According to him, a lot of crucial subjects, including those left unresolved during the Durban Platform held last year, will be discussed at COP 18 in Doha this year.
“The first issue that is of utmost importance for us this year is the Kyoto Protocol going into the second commitment period because the first commitment is finishing by December-end. So, it is important to have a new commitment period by January 1, 2013,” he pointed out.
The Kyoto Protocol is a protocol to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) that set binding obligations on the industrialised countries to reduce their emissions of greenhouse gases (GHGs).
Ambassador Lepeltier maintained that the European Union is very involved in the Kyoto Protocol second commitment period while mentioning that three countries- Japan, Canada and Russia – have decided not to be part of the new commitment.
“This second commitment is a very crucial issue for the future…so we have to push other countries like Australia, New Zealand to be involved in this commitment period,” he stated.
“We will also be examining the issue of duration of the second commitment to the Kyoto Protocol because there are several countries rooting for only five years, but we think in the EU and among other countries that it will be reasonable to have eight years because the new agreement will be put in action in the year 2020, so if the second commitment is only five years, we will have a gap between 2017-2020, so it will be more efficient to have eight years duration,” he suggested.
Other issues to be focused attention on during the Doha COP 18 according to ambassador Lepeltier include: carrying over the assigned amount units (AAUs) from the first period to the second commitment period; how applicable is market mechanisms involved in the second period for those country that will not be involved with the protocol but will be willing to use its market mechanisms, especially for the developing countries; looking at issue of long term for a lot of projects, especially in technology transition; and the question of funding/financing to fight against climate change for mitigation and adaptation in developing countries.
AAU is a tradable ‘Kyoto unit’ or ‘carbon credit’ representing an allowance to emit greenhouse gases comprising one metric tonne of carbon dioxide equivalents calculated using their global warming potential.
“Under the Durban Platform, a new set of agreements was decided, which will go on until 2015 for all the countries because now we have only the developing countries that are committed in reducing their GHGs emission,” he noted.
Ambassador Lepeltier noted that a lot of governments now know that the issue of climate change is crucial but warned that if there are no sufficient commitments from the governments, everyone on the planet is going to bear the consequences one way or the other.
He explained further that the consequences of the rising sea levels could lead to frequent droughts in dry land countries because of the questions of water and food security while its impacts will also be felt in some ways in other parts.
However, he suggested that it will be important to launch a new work plan during Doha COP 18 in order to know how to reduce ambition gaps in the climate change issues, saying: “EU’s ambition is to limit or reduce gas emissions by 20% from 1990-2020 because in 2050, if we want to achieve the below two degrees Celsius for the earth’s temperature, we have to reduce gas emissions by 80% by that period.”
He explained that to reduce gas emissions, it was important to have a good energy scenario in place.
“For the transition, gas is a good means to reduce that, because it is difficult to go directly from fossil to renewable energy…that’s why I am very pleased that Qatar is hosting COP because the country is a gas producing country and it is very important that the country in the future will be very involved in the question of energy transition and for the country to itself also go towards energy transition,” he added.
This article first appeared on the Gulf Time’s webpage 08 November 2012
Source Link: http://www.gulf-times.com/site/topics/article.asp?cu_no=2&;item_no=542509&version=1&template_id=36&parent_id=16