Kyoto Protocol Should Be Extended, Says EU
The Kyoto Protocol, a protocol to the United Nations Framework Convention of Climate Change, should be extended the European Union said Tuesday.
E.U. Environment Commissioner Janez Potocnik told a news conference, "The Kyoto Protocol should be extended for some time, but I can't say what that sometime would be," says the Wall Street Journal.
Mr. Potocnik's comments precede a ministerial-level United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change scheduled for November in Durban.
The Kyoto Protocol was initially adopted in 1997 and the end of the commitment period is December 2012. As of September, 191 states have signed and ratified the Protocol, says the UN. Two of the world's largest emitters of greenhouse gases, the U.S. and China, are not signatories to the Kyoto Protocol.
No new treaty has yet been agreed upon and developing countries, which are opposed to any legally binding emission cuts, have demanded an extension of the Kyoto Protocol until a new agreement is in place, reports the Wall Street Journal.
Last month, environmental ministers from various countries met to discuss and prepare negotiations between developed and developing countries on the extension of the Kyoto Protocol as well as legally binding caps on emissions, and the funding of green energy projects.
Referring to the current financial crisis in Europe, Mr. Potocnik said, "I don't see the prevailing crisis in Europe and elsewhere impacting the Durban talks. The global climate crisis is bigger than the financial crisis."