The Gambia delivered a joint statement today on behalf of the Least Developed Countries and the Alliance of Small Island States on the importance of an ambitious Kyoto Protocol with environmental integrity. The full statement can be found below:
I have the honour to speak on behalf of the Least Developed Countries and, for the first time, the Alliance of Small Island States. Our two groups associate themselves with the statement delivered by Swaziland on behalf of the African Group. Together, the LDCs, AOSIS and the African Group represent one hundred countries and over a billion people who are most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change.
We are concerned that the environmental integrity of the Kyoto Protocol, which is the only international treaty that legally binds developed countries to lower emissions, and thus our lone assurance that action will be taken, is eroding before our eyes.
This will require action in Doha that prioritizes reducing emissions that is in line with the latest scientific recommendations, including the following:
Annex I Parties – including those that have not yet submitted Quantified
Emission Limitation Reduction Objectives (QELROs) – must raise the ambition of their economy-wide emission reduction commitments and submit legally binding, single number QELROS without conditions for inclusion in an amended Annex B of the Kyoto Protocol.
The second commitment period should be for a length of five-years to avoid locking in insufficient ambition.
The use of surplus units from the first commitment period must be dramatically curbed in the second commitment period to protect the environmental integrity of the second commitment period.
Parties must reaffirm that legally binding QELROS inscribed in Annex B for the second commitment period are required for all Annex I Parties wishing to participate in the mechanisms.
Parties must affirm that the compliance system of the Kyoto Protocol applies to the second commitment period.
All amendments to the Kyoto Protocol should be provisionally applied pending entry into force to ensure the rapid implementation of Annex I commitments, the continued emission reporting under the accounting rules, and the uninterrupted operation of the flexible mechanisms.
Finally, Annex 1 countries that are not parties to the Kyoto Protocol should take ambitious commitments under the LCA. If hard decisions to cut emissions are not made now, developing countries will be forced to confront issues of adaptation on a previously unimaginable scale.