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Kyoto ‘BASIC’ to outcome

The four seek commitment that Protocol would be extended post 2012

Written by Amitabh Sinha
December 8, 2010 3:21:52 am

Spelling out its non-negotiables for an agreed outcome at the Cancun climate change conference,the group of four major developing economies — Brazil,South Africa,India and China — has said it would not support any outcome that did not include an “explicit commitment” that Kyoto Protocol would be extended beyond 2012.

The four,which go under the name of BASIC group,said there were two other issues on which it would not agree to any compromise. The final set of decisions from Cancun,they said,must have a clear assurance that the 10-billion dollar fast-start fund for the year 2010 would be completely disbursed to the most vulnerable countries at least by the middle of the next year. The decisions must also include a commitment to continue the dialogue over the contentious issue of Intellectual Property Rights (IPRs) in finalising an agreement on technology sharing.

“These are our three non-negotiables. We are not ready to compromise on any of these. Any outcome from Cancun must include these three commitments,” said Xie Zhenghua,head of the Chinese delegation.

Some countries,most prominently Japan,have said they were not in favour of extending Kyoto Protocol — that sets out greenhouse gas emission reduction targets for a group of rich and industrialised nations — beyond 2012. This has become a make or break issue for the Cancun talks.

“The Kyoto Protocol has been the result of long-term negotiations and it is the only legally binding instrument to deal with climate change. It has played an important role so far and we think it will continue to have an important role post-2012. We sincerely hope that Japan would not deny its own efforts in setting up this Protocol in the Japanese city of Kyoto in 1997,” the Chinese delegate said.

Similarly,in the talks over development of a technology sharing framework,which is at a fairly advanced stage,the contentious issue of how to deal with IPRs has presently been left out. The BASIC countries stress that at some point the IPR issue would need to be settled since a large number of technologies that would be needed in tackling climate change are patented.

Finally,on the issue of fast-start finance — that was set up in Copenhagen last year and was meant to provide 10 billion dollars every year for three years to most vulnerable countries to help them deal with climate change — BASIC group has expressed its displeasure at the slow pace of disbursement.

The BASIC group said its pre-conditions were meant to keep the focus of the negotiations in the right direction and not to put any roadblocks.

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