Azara Blog: UN climate conference in Nairobi comes to no great conclusion

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Date published: 2006/11/18

The BBC says:

The UN climate talks in Nairobi have ended with agreement reached on all outstanding matters.

The most difficult issue, a review of the Kyoto Protocol, was settled to the advantage of developing countries.

There is no deal on another round of mandatory cuts in emissions to follow the Kyoto Protocol, and no firm timetable for negotiating cuts.
The most important of the issues outstanding as the talks entered their final phase concerned the review of the Kyoto Protocol.

The protocol states that it should be reviewed at this stage, with many of its measures open to discussion.

A number of developing countries viewed this with suspicion, believing that it might open the door to demands that they consider binding cuts in emissions, possibly impacting economic development.

They asked for, and eventually got, a minimal review.

The European Union, with the support of a number of other nations, wanted a root and branch examination of emission targets and all the other components of the protocol.

The plan now is for such a review to take place in 2008.

To the concern of activists, the conference approved a proposal from Belarus that it be allowed to join the Kyoto Protocol in a way that could see it able to sell surplus emissions.

Its emissions declined sharply after the reference date of 1990 with the decline of Soviet bloc industry, and environment groups say Belarus will be able to make money from this with no resultant drop in global greenhouse gas emissions.
The next round of talks will be in Bali next December.

Nothing significantly new here. The UN should be required to publish how much carbon emissions are produced by these rather vacuous conferences held all over the world (including the contributions from all the NGO and media hangers on).

The Kyoto Protocol is flawed in various ways, and the wheeze for Belarus is just the latest example. (Of course letting Belarus collapse further economically might not be so bright for other reasons.)

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