Russia, Japan baulk at new Kyoto Protocol pledges: diplomats

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Russia, Japan and Canada confirmed at the G8 they would not join a second round of carbon cuts under the Kyoto Protocol at UN talks later this year and the US reiterated it would remain outside the treaty, European diplomats said Friday.

The future of the Kyoto Protocol has become central to efforts to negotiate reductions of carbon emissions under the UN's Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), whose annual meeting will take place in Durban, South Africa, from November 28 to December 9.

Signed in 1997, the Kyoto Protocol saw developed countries -- the exception being the United States -- agree to legally binding commitments on curbing greenhouse-gas emissions blamed for global warming.

Those pledges expire at the end of 2012. Developing countries say a second round is the quid pro quo for securing deals in the wider arena that includes the United States.

But the leaders of Russian, Japan and Canada confirmed they would not join a new Kyoto agreement, the diplomats said.

They argued that the Kyoto format does not require emerging countries - which include China, the world's No. 1 carbon polluter -- to make targeted emitters cuts.

Separately, US President Barack Obama, at Thursday night's G8 dinner, confirmed Washington would not join an updated Kyoto Protocol, the diplomats said.

The United States, the second largest carbon emitter, signed the Protocol in 1997 but in 2001 Obama's predecessor, George W. Bush, declared he would not put it to the Senate for ratification, judging it unfair and too costly for the American economy.

© 2011 AFP

1 Comment To This Article

  • Jason L posted:

    on 30th May 2011, 09:34:31 - Reply

    Yes, Harper (Canadian PM) doesn't have the fortitude to say, "We can make changes..." because he wants the US to go first. I thought we were our own country?