First Anniversary of the Kyoto Protocol

Message of UNEP’s Executive Director Klaus Toepfer on the Occasion of the 1st Anniversary of the Kyoto Protocol

Today, more than ever before, the world needs to fight against climate change in a globally coordinated and highly committed manner! New scientific findings, especially those highlighting the dramatic consequences of climate change in the Arctic, once more ring the alarm bell and call for immediate, far reaching action.

The energy supply structure must be less carbon intensive. Renewable energies - from wind and solar to geothermal and biomass - are technically feasible and available, and have to be developed and deployed further. This is also an economic imperative, in view of the growing energy demand from fast growing big economies such as those in Asia.

The Kyoto Protocol is the main legally binding instrument to reduce carbon emissions in the developed countries. The result of the first Meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol, held in Montreal in early December 2005, gives the clear signal that reductions have to go much further: Reductions have to go beyond the first commitment period 2012, they need to reach 30% and more bearing in mind that this is only a stepping stone to the 60% reductions that are required according to the scientists’ findings, and they should be set for a period long enough to attract business confidence into the carbon market.

This is possible without hampering economic development or poverty alleviation. New technologies and changed production and consumption patterns are key. Better use must be made of the instruments of the Kyoto Protocol, Emissions Trading and especially the Clean Development Mechanism, enabling technical cooperation between developed and developing countries. In addition, developing countries need solidarity in their struggle with the consequences of climate change. Adaptation must therefore be integrated in all development policies and be supported by the donor community as partners in development.


 

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