A GIANT birthday cake and a song commemorated Kyoto Protocol’s 10th anniversary.
Those attending the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) meeting here joined in the party yesterday.
But the reaction was more mixed than one of jubilation.
With none of the countries obligated under the Kyoto Protocol to reduce carbon emissions having done so – except maybe for the European Union – and with the debate still raging on technology transfer, there was nevertheless a flicker of hope for developing countries.
An official with the Malaysian delegation said that despite the United States not being a member of Kyoto Protocol and that none of the countries have met their targets, it still remained the most important instrument for mankind to offset the effect on global climate.
“The Kyoto Protocol has brought us together to talk seriously about climate change and that’s something. Without it, we will still be grappling about in the dark,” he said.
The Kyoto Protocol to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change was adopted in Kyoto on Dec 11, 1997.
It contains quantified greenhouse gas emission limitation and reduction commitments for signatory countries.
Under the protocol, 36 industrialised countries and the EU had committed to reduce their emissions by 5% below 1990 levels. The world’s biggest emissions contributor, the United States, is not party to it.
For Sahabat Alam Malaysia secretary Meenakshi Raman, the meeting this past week had “not been very optimistic.”
“The developed countries have not delivered any of the promises they are obligated to do so under the Kyoto Protocol,” she said.
Kiko Network’s Kimiko Harata said she was there when the Kyoto Protocol was adopted.
“But now I see the protocol in danger because many developed countries are trying to undermine it,” she said.
But it was not all gloom and doom.
UNFCCC executive secretary Yvo de Boer said countries finally decided to make the adaptation fund – which could be used by developing countries to finance projects to adapt to the effects of climate change – operational by the beginning of next year.
Japan’s Environment Minister Ichiro Kamoshita said the Kyoto Protocol was only a “10-year-old child.”
Did you find this article insightful?