By Noimot Olayiwola/Staff Reporter
The public is not providing as much support that will compel their governments to be more ambitious and make progressive decisions in their bid to cut emissions, Christiana Figueres, executive secretary, United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), said yesterday at a press conference on the sidelines of the ongoing UN Climate Change Conference (COP18/CMP8).
“Countries are doing as much as they can, but I don’t see as much support from the public in exerting pressure to make the governments take quicker actions,” she said while responding to a question on why parties are so slow in reaching decisions on carbon emissions.
“So, I call on everyone to assume their responsibilities because each of us, whether an individual or the chief executive officers of corporations, so far we are within the legislation of the parties … each person needs to assume responsibilities,” she maintained while urging all stakeholders to act more ‘impatiently’ as soon as possible in order for countries to reach solutions.
“Most of the information that have come out of late have said that we are running out of time, it is very clear … with respect to the possibilities of being able to limit the earth’s temperature to below 2 degree Celsius,” she noted.
She claimed that most of the countries in negotiations realise and have in mind the need to quickly reduce emissions. “Countries realise the need for an approach from their national perspectives. It is understandable that there is a difference between what science demands, which is a global perspective and the negotiators’ national perspectives.”
To whether UNFCCC will persuade countries that have declared not to partake in the second commitment of the Kyoto Protocol, she said: “Canada, Japan and Russia have stated clearly since the beginning of this year that they will not take part in the second commitment but said that they will remain committed to domesticating it as well as participate, alongside other countries, in the universal agreement by 2015.”
New Zealand also said it will not be committed but will apply its mechanisms, she said.
The Kyoto Protocol binds most developed nations to cut emissions by at least 5.2% below 1990 levels by 2008-2012.
Russia, Canada and Japan are pulling out, saying it is now time for fast-growing emerging nations led by China and India to take on commitments.
Under current plans, a new global deal is meant to be agreed in 2015 and enter into force by 2020.
She explained that there were a couple of options on the table presently as regards the Kyoto Protocol but no decisions have been reached here yet and it is also another issue that will be taken into the high-level segment of the meeting next week.
However, she noted that Kyoto Protocol parties are agreeing new round of legally binding targets.
To the issue of finance, Figueres stated that it is being discussed by parties and will still continue to be the heart of the discussions next week as parties will be examining how the industrialised countries are going to ramp up from where they are currently, stating for instance, if they have pledged $10bn per year, they will be discussing how they will ramp up to $100bn/year by the year 2020, which is what their
On major successes within the past week, she said some 45 issues are currently under discussions and hopefully will reach a conclusion by the end of next week.
The official, however, noted that what has been extraordinarily productive during the week was that as countries come here with a commitment to continue to do work, they are sitting together at the table, listening to each other, understanding the differences in their positions and they are gaining to find the common ground where those differences align.
“They are engaged in that process certainly with respect to all depending issues under the Kyoto Protocol. They are engaged very actively under the convention,” she said.
The UNFCCC executive secretary said that a more broader agreement aside Kyoto Protocol, is presently not on table here saying: “It was decided during Durban platform that a more broader agreement will be on the table for countries to decide upon in the year 2015 and what they are doing now is actually beginning to set the path to get to new global climate agreement covering all major emitters.”