Fwd: World Shouldn’t Wait for U.S. on Climate Agreement, Japan Says

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World Shouldn't Wait for U.S. on Climate Agreement, Japan Says
2010-11-30 20:37:54.785 GMT

By Alex Morales
Nov. 30 (Bloomberg) -- The world shouldn't wait for the
U.S. to agree to a global deal on fighting climate change, a
Japanese envoy said, ruling out his own country's participation
in a second phase of the existing treaty, the Kyoto Protocol.
The U.S. isn't likely to be able to agree to binding
targets until at least 2013 because of a requirement to have
domestic legislation in place first, Kuni Shimada, special
adviser to Japanese Environment Minister Ryu Matsumoto, said
today in an interview in Cancun, Mexico, where two weeks of
United Nations global warming negotiations are underway.
"The U.S. isn't going backwards -- they just keep delaying
the process," said Shimada, who was formerly Japan's lead
negotiator at the talks. "If everyone else relies on U.S.
actions, then we cannot go anywhere."
The comments indicate the depths of the divisions that have
ruled out a treaty on climate this year and maybe next. UN
officials leading the talks are aiming for more incremental
progress on protecting forests, channeling funds to poor nations
and on verifying reductions in emissions blamed for damaging the
Earth's atmosphere.
Jonathan Pershing, chief of the U.S. delegation, yesterday
said the Obama administration stands by its commitment to reduce
its emissions of heat-trapping gases by 17 percent for the 15
years through 2020. He said President Barack Obama still thinks
legislation is the right approach even after Congress this year
failed to pass a climate change law and Obama's Democrats lost
control of the House of Representatives.
"We think it may be not necessarily be only comprehensive
legislation, but perhaps elements in energy or elements in other
environmental activities that could also move us in that
direction," Pershing said.

Kyoto 'Outdated'

Shimada also said the existing Kyoto treaty is "outdated"
and his country won't accept new emissions targets under the
pact when current limits expire in 2012 because it only covers
27 percent of global emissions. The treaty binds all developed
nations, except the U.S., to cut emissions from 1990 levels by a
collective 5.2 percent for the average of the years 2008 through
2012. The U.S. never ratified the agreement, and developing
countries aren't required to set targets.
"Whatever happens, under any kind of conditions we do not
accept a second commitment period," Shimada said. "Without the
active participation of the two biggest emitters, namely China
and the United States, it's not a global effort."
Agreeing to an extension for the Kyoto Protocol is a key
demand by developing countries including China and the 43-nation
Alliance of Small Island States. The 27-nation European Union
has said it's open to a second commitment period, though it
wants to see action also by the U.S. and China.

For Related News and Information:
Top environment and renewable energy stories: GREEN <GO>
Stories about the climate talks: NSE CLIMATE CANCUN <GO>
Locations of global energy facilities: BMAP <GO>

--Editors: Reed Landberg, Steve Geimann

To contact the reporter on this story:
Alex Morales in London at +44-20-7330-7718 or

To contact the editor responsible for this story:
Reed Landberg at +44-20-7330-7862 or landberg@bloomberg.net.