ECO could not help but hear the roars of applause in the hallways yesterday as Tuvalu reentered the COP in the afternoon. What prompted such a boisterous response? Tuvalu, supported by AOSIS and other most vulnerable countries, called for a Contact Group to discuss its proposal of a new protocol under the Convention. Amidst pressure from various Parties, they stood behind their call. In a time where bold and yes, perhaps risky, action is required to ensure a fair, ambitious and binding agreement, Tuvalu’s momentous actions are to be commended.
At the same time, amidst talk of a new protocol based on the Bali Action Plan, the Kyoto Protocol cannot be forgotten, breached or left behind. Parties must stand behind the Kyoto Protocol and its continuation with a second commitment period.
Tuvalu’s proposal for an open and transparent process, such as a Contact Group, serves as a ray of sunshine in an otherwise cloudy and dark city. The unhelpful results of a secret, behind closed doors approach have been highlighted in recent days, as secret texts and uneven consultations have been exposed as the flawed approaches they truly are.
Unfortunately, some countries have shown a propensity to abuse processes to further illegitimate interests. Parties such as Japan, Australia and the United States have put forward proposals that could endanger the Kyoto Protocol, which ECO cannot accept. Further, developed country Parties to Kyoto are months overdue in completing their mandate of clearly defining further ambitious emission reduction commitments, and must do so.
As ever, ECO will continue to watch these negotiations closely. Should any open and transparent approach be bastardised into a process that threatens the Kyoto Protocol and prospects for a fair, ambitious and binding outcome, ECO will not hesitate to pull its support.
ECO supports AOSIS and the most vulnerable countries in their bold efforts to find a way forward towards avoiding the impacts of catastrophic climate change.