FROM DURBAN: Key polluter Canada has confirmed that it would not support an extended Kyoto Protocol after 2012, joining Japan and Russia in rejecting a new round of the climate-emissions pact at the very beginning of the 17th Conference of Parties (COP17) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.
The United Nations climate conference started here in Durban Monday with calls on key polluter countries to agree to work towards a legally binding global deal by 2015 to reduce carbon emissions.
European Union leaders say they are willing to extend their commitment to the Kyoto Protocol beyond its expiry in December next year.
In the inaugural session of the conference on November 28, nations of the world participating in the conference to save the dying protocol at the United Nations` global climate talks in the South African city finally termed the three countries as ‘betrayer’.
South Africa’s President Jacob Zuma, COP 16 President Patricia Espinosa and COP17 President Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, among others, attended the inaugural session.
In his inaugural speech President Jacob Zuma called upon the representatives and delegates from across the globe to "look beyond national interests" and work towards an outcome that is "balanced, fair and credible" and reaffirm the Kyoto Protocol.
Executive secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Christiana Figueres said future commitments by industrial countries to cut emissions are "the defining issue of this conference."
The COP17 President Maite Nkoana-Mashabane said: There is only one aim for this gathering and that is to ensure a safe future of our next generation.
However, the good news is that there is a possibility of a detailed discussion during the conference on forming Green Climate Fund. Although in earlier two COP conferences it was discussed to form such a climate fund to fight against climate disaster, it was not possible to reach a consensus from where the Green Climate Fund would come.
(The writer is an International Climate Champion, British Council)
BDST: 1709 HRS, NOV 29, 2011