kyoto protocol.jpgThe International agreement meant to fight global warming, the Kyoto Protocol is in mortal danger as most developed countries show clear signs of abandoning it preferring the voluntary pledge system entailed in the Copenhagen Accord that the US had been advocating, in which individual developed countries state how much reduction they would like to set as their target.
The death of the Kyoto protocol, under which the developed countries except the United States of America have legally binding targets to cut emissions and fund adaptation is something the developing countries say they cannot accept.
There are fears that United Nations Climate Change meeting in Cancun Mexico, might not yield results as countries like Japan have clearly indicated that they will not inscribe and have rejected a second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol.


The public announcement by Japan has upset many parties and created an unconstructive atmosphere that wreck the negotiations.

In an interview, Director of Environment in the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources Management, Mr Irvin Kunene, said at a time when the world is seeking to strengthen the climate change regime, Japan’s hard stance in the guise of getting the USA and China to make mitigation commitments risks leaving the world with no deal at all.


He said it is a requirement under the protocol that there is a second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol adding that though there might not be a legally binding deal in Cancun Mexico, COP 16 must be a significant stepping stone to a full, fair, ambitious and binding deal at COP17 in South Africa.


Speaking on behalf of the least developed countries at the opening of the 16th session of the conference of parties to the UNFCC, Ambassador Dr Makase Nyaphisi of Lesotho said the group is concerned that the future of the Kyoto protocol is becoming very uncertain as developed countries fail to agree with the developing countries on the implementation of the protocol.
He said developing countries would want the developed countries to cut their emissions as a group by more than 40% by 2020 and establish a new functional global climate fund that is easy to access by poor countries.
However, the Group of 77 and China is proposing and reaffirming that they need the Kyoto Protocol to continue into a second period after its expiration in 2012 so that it enters into the second phase from 2013 to 2017.
Climate Change experts believe the main problem is the inability of the US Administration to make a meaningful commitment to cut its country’s emissions to an adequate extent because it is now clear that congress will not adopt a comprehensive climate bill.
This makes the other developed countries reluctant to firm up their own commitments or even retain the existing regulated system. Many of them are still dragging their feet in stating how much they should cut their emissions, individually and as a group in the Kyoto Protocol second period that is to start in 2013.
Worse Russia and Japan have openly stated they do not want to continue with the Kyoto Protocol while Australia, New Zealand and Canada among others have also be reluctant to commit to Kyoto’s second period because the US is not in it and major developing countries do not have to join the binding disciplines.
This leaves the European Union which says it prefers to shift to a new system too but is still open to remaining in Kyoto if others do. Only Norway has said firmly it agrees to the second Kyoto period.
The Kyoto Protocol has become very unpopular with developed countries because it stipulates dates, time and targets for emission reduction and adaptation funding to which the developed countries have failed to fulfill.


 The Kyoto Protocol is the first international agreement to fight global warming. It was signed by 141 nations, including all European and all other developed industrial nations except the US and Australia. Its first commitment period began on January 1, 2008 and is due to expire on 31 December 2012.