COP15 懸案先送りで決裂を回避した

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Dec. 20, 2009)
COP15 avoids collapse by delaying decision
COP15 懸案先送りで決裂を回避した(12月20日付・読売社説)

The latest U.N. Climate Change Conference was successful only in that it avoided complete collapse.

Participants at the 15th Conference of the Parties to the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change approved the Copenhagen Accord drawn up by major developed and developing countries on Saturday.

The political agreement, however, made no mention of matters in which the interests of developed nations conflict with those of emerging and developing countries. The fact that the document lacks substance reflects the deep disagreement at the talks. The most important issue at hand--what to do with a new framework to succeed the Kyoto Protocol beyond 2012--was left unsettled and postponed for further discussion.

The 10-day conference proceeded at the pace of emerging and developing countries. In particular, China and India strongly supported extending the 1997 Kyoto Protocol beyond 2012, frustrating the developed countries.

The Kyoto Protocol obliges only developed countries to cut greenhouse gas emissions and as such is a very convenient framework for emerging and developing countries.


Accord includes all nations

Japan and the European Union have been insisting a new framework involving emerging and developing countries be established, a natural course of action given that China has become the world's largest greenhouse gas emitter.

The Kyoto Protocol, even if it is extended, would have no impact on the United States, which had withdrawn from it. Japan should be relieved at the fact that such a flawed framework was not extended.

The Japanese government must maintain its stance of opposing the extension of the protocol.

Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama took part in the conference touting, Japan's midterm goal of cutting greenhouse gas emissions by 25 percent from 1990 levels by 2020. The intention of presenting such an extremely aggressive goal was to encourage other countries to raise their own reduction targets.

However, the latest climate talks were tough as Hatoyama admitted that other nations had not necessarily presented bold goals. Hatoyama's lack of foresight was exposed.


Financial help led to deal

The tangled negotiations eventually made progress after Japan and the United States announced financial assistance to emerging and developing countries to help them mitigate climate change. This clearly shows the reality that emerging and developing countries do move if they see practical benefit--assistance from developed countries.

The Copenhagen Accord states that developed countries will stipulate their emission reduction targets for 2020 in an appendix to the accord by Jan. 31. It is highly likely that each country will be obliged to achieve these targets under the post-Kyoto Protocol framework.

Considering the lessons learned from the Kyoto Protocol, under which Japan had to shoulder disadvantageous obligations, the next framework to be established should be fair. The Japanese government will be pressed to make a difficult decision on whether to pledge in the appendix the target of a 25 percent reduction from 1990 levels, which is a substantially tougher figure than those likely to be named by the United States and other countries.

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Dec. 20, 2009)
(2009年12月20日01時02分 読売新聞)

by kiyoshimat | 2009-12-20 06:01 | 英字新聞

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