A distant dream called Kyoto

Published: Tuesday 15 July 2003

The latest meeting on climate change did not bring the Kyoto Protocol any closer to being implemented. The protocol, established in 1997, asks industrialised countries to cut emissions of heat-trapping gases such as carbon dioxide. Its coming into force now hinges on Russia's nod.

There were, however, not many encouraging signals at the eighteenth meeting of the Subsidiary Bodies to the Climate Change Convention in Bonn, Germany, recently. To demonstrate the importance it accords to the issue, the eu hinted that it might make its high-level participation in the World Conference on Climate Change conditional on Russia's progress in ratifying the protocol. The world meet will be held in Moscow in September this year. According to Indian officials present at the negotiations, the issue of funds to adapt to climate change is becoming complicated.

Industrialised countries demanded that the Special Climate Change Fund (sccf), besides investing in adaptation projects, also fund schemes to mitigate climate change. This is not acceptable to developing countries, which want adaptation activities to be given priority. They argue that mitigation is the industrialised world's responsibility.

Modalities for using forests as "sinks" to absorb carbon dioxide and claiming credits for it were also discussed.

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