16 June 2011
For Immediate Release
Alex Rafalowicz
+49 1520 7580 661
Climate negotiations on the brink
Developing countries take the lead

BONN - Today, Martin Khor, Executive-Director of the South Centre, an intergovernmental thinktank that provides advice to developing country governments, warned that the international climate negotiations were on the brink of unraveling.


He was joined at the press briefing by senior scientist from the Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI), Dr. Sivan Kartha, who revealed new figures that showed developing countries were taking much greater efforts to reduce their climate pollution than developed countries.


"We agreed in Bali in Dec 2007 to build a much stronger international climate regime to better cope with recent alarming analysis of the disastrous effects of climate change.   But instead of achieving this new regime, we now see quite unbelievably an attempt to dismantle even the weaker regime that we now have." Mr Khor said.


"Instead of a legally binding system to lock in adequate emissions cuts to 2020 for developed countries collectively and individually -- which is what was agreed to -- there is now the most likely prospect of a  "voluntary pledge" system in which developed countries merely state what they can do, without a formal system of assessing the adequacy of each country's target or the adequacy of the collective effort.  This will itself be a disincentive for developing countries, when they see those who are supposed to lead the process, falter instead." Mr Khor said.


"Despite this, the several studies analyzed here show that under all of the scenarios on current pledges developing countries have pledged to reduce more gigatonnes in total than developed countries. Of greatest concern is that if the accounting loopholes are not closed off, developed countries could use them to be in technical compliance with even the upper estimates of their pledges, while their emissions are actually growing between now and 2020, and possibly even beyond," Dr. Kartha said.


"There's a false perception that we need to focus primarily on increasing ambition from emerging economies - these economies have put serious emission cuts on the table. It's the developed countries that need to actually reduce their emissions, and increase their commitment to provide finance and technology that will allow even greater reductions in developing countries, if we are to have any hope of keeping to a pathway that limits temperature rise to 1.5C or 2C." Dr. Kartha said.


"There is still hope for Durban, if  enough developed countries decide they will stay with the Kyoto Protocol and fulfill its second commitment period starting 2013.  And that those who stay out of Kyoto will make a comparable effort, inside the Convention (AWG-LCA).  Developing countries for the first time are making targets, and those of the largest countries have been credible." Mr Khor said.


"We also hope that there will be sufficient progress on finance and technology, especially with the firm establishment in Durban of the Green Climate Fund, the Technology Mechanism and an Adaptation Committee   --  three  new institutions that are essential to assist developing countries.  The negotiations on the Fund and the Technology Mechanism are so far progressing, but a spurt is needed to get final results in Durban." Mr Khor added.




Please click to download Dr. Kartha's paper and presentation