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At Durban, Kyoto Protocol gets extension

By FnF Correspondent | PUBLISHED: 11, Dec 2011, 18:22 pm IST | UPDATED: 12, Dec 2011, 16:20 pm IST

At Durban, Kyoto Protocol gets extension Durban: Despite efforts by rich countries to junk the Kyoto Protocol after 2012, when its first term ends, the poor counties had their say at the UN climate talks here Sunday as all nations finally agreed to extend it for another five years.

The two-week long conference, that ended a day and a half behind schedule because of intense negotiations over contentious issues, saw a logjam between developed and developing nations over extending the Kyoto protocol - the only legal instrument in force to combat climate change.

Maite Nkoana-Mashbane, chair of 17th Conference of Parties (CoP), early Sunday congratulated all the delegations for their leadership and for rising to the occasion when it was most required.

She announced that parties agreed on four major decisions and it included the "amendment to Kyoto Protocol".

Under the protocol, the parties also set clear a target of emission reductions of 25-40 percent below 1990 levels by 2020 for the group of countries that are collectively known as Annex 1 parties - 38 industrialised countries listed for their contribution to the greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.

The second commitment period under the Kyoto Protocol would begin on Jan 1, 2013.

"We welcome the agreement to establish a second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol that will increase certainty for the carbon market and provides additional incentives for new investments in technology and the infrastructure necessary to fight climate change," said a statement issued by the office of UN secretary general Ban Ki-Moon.

There were lot of differences among rich and poor countries over Kyoto's extention.

Canada, Japan and Russia had said that they do not want Kyoto to continue as it doesn't take into account emissions of emerging economies like China and India.

The European Union wanted that they will agree to it only if all countries agree to a single legally binding agreement to cut down greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

The US is the only country that has signed Kyoto but not yet ratified it.

Developing countries maintained that rich countries should respect the existing regime rather than drafting a new treaty.

Sunita Narain, director general, Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) called it a "big victory for the developing countries, which were demanding that this Protocol must continue".