COP16 京都議定書の単純延長は論外

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Dec. 4, 2010)
Don't extend Kyoto pact just for the sake of it
COP16 京都議定書の単純延長は論外(12月3日付・読売社説)

To cut global emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases and establish a society not dependent on fossil fuels, the world needs new international rules on emission controls that are fair to industrially advanced and developing nations.

The 16th Conference of the Parties to the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP16) is being held in Cancun, Mexico. The main item on the agenda is the establishment of new rules to replace the current Kyoto Protocol whose commitment period for achieving emission targets ends in 2012.

The main problem boils down to whether participating nations can craft a fair, effective framework acceptable to an entanglement of interests.

Discussions at the conference quickly ran into trouble. Developing countries are strongly resisting new rules that would require them to cut their greenhouse gas emissions, which they fear would slow their economic growth. They want the Kyoto Protocol extended to 2013 and beyond.

Get U.S., China on board

Under the Kyoto Protocol, only industrially advanced countries are required to cut greenhouse gas emissions. This is advantageous to developing countries. China, the world's biggest greenhouse gas emitter, is a developing country and therefore not obliged by the pact to cut its emissions.

The United States, the second-biggest gas emitter, has not ratified the Kyoto pact. These two countries together spew out more than 40 percent of the world's greenhouse gas emissions.

Greenhouse gas emissions by signatories with obligations under the pact, such as Japan and the European Union, produce only 27 percent of global emissions. This suggests the Kyoto framework is ineffective.

We believe any framework that replaces the Kyoto Protocol must ensure that China and the United States also live up to their responsibility to cut their emissions. Merely extending the Kyoto Protocol would plainly run counter to this. Accordingly, it is quite reasonable for the Japanese government to have decided to oppose extension of the pact.

25% goal not set in stone

Worryingly, the EU has shown a willingness to extend the protocol. EU nations probably assume it would be advantageous for them to keep in place the EU emissions trading system that was introduced to help the region achieve reduction targets.

Japanese delegates will undoubtedly face some tense negotiations at the conference.

The previous administration under Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama came out with a lofty target of cutting Japan's greenhouse gas emissions by 25 percent from the 1990 level by 2020. The government attached several preconditions to this goal, including the establishment of a fair emissions reduction architecture that involves all major greenhouse gas emitters, and an agreement on ambitious targets.

We think Japan should stick by these conditions. If the 25 percent reduction goal takes on a life of its own, this nation alone could end up being obliged to achieve a distinctly disadvantageous reduction target.

Opposition to the 25 percent reduction is strong in Japan due to concerns that excessive emissions controls would hurt the economy. On this occasion, Japan should start reviewing this target and set a more realistic one.

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Dec. 3, 2010)
(2010年12月3日01時25分 読売新聞)

by kiyoshimat | 2010-12-04 08:46 | 英字新聞

<< 衆参「ねじれ」 機能不全見せつ... 年金の国庫負担―借金頼みの実態... >>