UN Environment Head Welcomes Climate Change Compliance Committee
Kyoto Protocol Now Comes with Carrots and Sticks
Nairobi, 3 March 2006 --The launch of the compliance system for the Kyoto Protocol, the international treaty to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, was welcomed by Klaus Toepfer, Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).
The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) today announced that the Protocol’s Compliance Committee, complete with an enforcement branch and facilitative branch, was operational.
The enforcement wing has the power to decide on the consequences for countries encountering difficulties in meeting their commitments by 2012.
The other branch is designed to promote compliance by offering countries advice and assistance.
Mr Toepfer said: “Climate change is the most serious challenge facing the world and the Kyoto Protocol is the internationally agreed mechanism for averting it”.
“Kyoto has many carrots including the chance for developed nations to offset some of their emissions in developing countries through tree planting and renewable energy schemes, up to participating in the emerging carbon trading markets,” he said.
“With today’s announcement, the Protocol also has teeth, as befits a legally binding treaty. This in turn adds to the integrity of Kyoto and its provisions, in particular the credibility of the emissions trading markets,” added Mr Toepfer.
He wished Ambassador Raúl Estrada Oyuela of Argentina, chair of the Committee’s enforcement branch, and Hironori Hamanaka of Japan every success and a "not too busy time”.
“The signs of climate change are all around us, from the melting of the Arctic and the glaciers up to extreme weather events and the migration of species. I sincerely believe that the world is no longer in any doubt that climate change is real and that the targets set under Kyoto are modest and doable—that few if any will be bothering Ambassador Estrada or Mr Hamanaka over the next six years”.
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UNEP News Release 2006/13