The legal options discussion has come up with at least one that ECO approves. Option 1 decides to develop a Protocol or other legally binding instrument under the Convention based on the Bali Action Plan and the Cancun Agreements, with negotiations starting in 2012 and in place by 2015. Excellent!
However, the rumour is that the US, India and China have opposed it. ECO shares India and China’s love of the Kyoto Protocol and their devotion to a second commitment period, but is dismayed by the potential rejection of the lovely Option 1.
ECO has long considered itself soulmates with India and China – based on mutual deep respect for a rules-based system with common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities. If those Parties are really serious about a binding second commitment period they should also constructively engage to ensure a mandate at Durban that will build on the second commitment period.
Rather than taking a rigid stance in the legal group, India and China should move in line with the press comments they have made stating they are receptive to new ideas and looking at solutions with an open mind.
Of course, responsibilities should be based on equity and CBDR+RC as embedded in the Convention. Rather than being a basis for obstructing progress, however, this should be the basis to work towards a legal outcome. It is imperative that all Parties should extend their views beyond the short term for the sake of the planet.