Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Island Nations Criticize EU Over Kyoto Climate Deal Extension

A bloc of 42 island nations said the European Union is backtracking on agreements made at the last round of United Nations climate talks in Durban, South Africa, threatening the environmental integrity of an eventual treaty.

The 27-nation EU joined with the Alliance of Small Island States and other developing nations in Durban to push for a road map leading to a new climate treaty drawing in all nations. Now the Europeans are pulling back from some commitments, according to a statement e-mailed today by the island bloc.

The EU in Durban agreed to accept new emissions targets after 2012, while working to increase the global ambition of greenhouse gas cuts. EU environment ministers on March 12 opted for an eight-year second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol that ends in 2020, three years longer than the island nations want. At the same time, the low-lying nations are seeking deeper emissions cuts to contain temperature gains and sea-level rises.

“Regrettably, our shared concerns seemed to have diverged when our planes left South Africa,” Marlene Moses, chairwoman of the alliance and Nauru’s ambassador to the United Nations, said in the statement. “The EU is resisting elements key to the environmental integrity of the climate treaty,” she said, citing the length of Kyoto’s second commitment period and a failure to accept more ambitious mitigation targets. More