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Belarus to examine Doha climate change decision


17.01.2013 17:45

MINSK, 17 January (BelTA) – Belarus will conduct a legal analysis of the decision passed at the Doha climate change conference, Yuri Yaroshevich, Deputy Head of the Central Office for Multilateral Democracy, Head of the Office for Economic Cooperation and Sustainable Development of the Belarusian Foreign Ministry, told a press conference on 17 January.

Belarus planned to take part in the second Kyoto Protocol period; however the 18th session of the Conference of the Parties to the UNFCCC took an unexpected turn. “Our analysis has revealed that the decision adopted in Doha will not allow Belarus to trade in quotas within the framework of the “Kyoto-2” deal, because we and a number of partner states will not have these quotas. Obviously you cannot sell things you do not have,” Yuri Yaroshevich said. In line with the new rules, signatories to the Kyoto Protocol will not be able to increase greenhouse gas emissions, which is unacceptable for Belarus.

He informed that the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environmental Protection and the partner states that supported Belarus in Doha are examining the decisions adopted at the conference to find out whether these decisions comply with the format and whether they were adopted by consensus.

“It is early to say what conclusion we will arrive at, because we are just at the very beginning of our way, but I can say that Belarus is thoroughly studying the decision adopted at the conference from various perspectives, including financial, economic, legal, environmental and even political ones, focusing on the impact of the “Kyoto-2” deal on our economic growth plans,” Yuri Yaroshevich said.

He added that the Foreign Ministry will soon host four-party consultations involving experts from Belarus, Russia, Ukraine and Kazakhstan. “The consultations are aimed at working out a coordinated position on the decisions adopted at the recent Doha conference and analyze their impact on the national interests of Belarus. Government agencies of the country will also conduct an analysis. After holding the consultations and the analysis, Belarus will decide whether it makes sense to take part in the second phase of the agreement,” the Foreign Ministry official said.

“We would like to note that the Kyoto Protocol is losing its importance. The conference formalized commitments for less than 40 states that in fact generate only 15% of emissions; there are no commitments for developing countries many of which release significantly more greenhouse gases than Belarus, which gives them an additional competitive edge compared to Belarus,” Yuri Yaroshevich said.

He noted that Belarus attaches primary importance to international cooperation in climate change. “We are interested in balanced and efficient multilateral climate mechanisms meeting the interests of all states, including countries in transition. These are not just words, we can prove it by figures: the results we have achieved in reducing energy intensity of GDP are really impressive,” the Foreign Ministry official said.

The Belarusian delegation took part in the 18th session of the Conference of the Parties to the UNFCCC and the 8th session of the Conference of the Parties serving as the Meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol that was held in Doha on 26 November - 7 December. The Belarusian delegation included representatives of the Foreign Ministry, the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environmental Protection and a group of experts. The major objective of the conference was to review the many years of negotiations to develop long-term cooperation instruments to combat climate change. The conference also aimed to implement a legally binding treaty to address climate change that was agreed upon during the 2011 conference in Durban. The terms of the future treaty are to become effective in 2020.

The Kyoto Protocol to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change came into effect in 2005. It aimed to commit developed countries to reduce emissions and to use market mechanisms to ensure the implementation of the document. The first phase of the commitments on the protocol concluded on 31 December 2012. In Doha the participants of the conference voted for the extension of the validity of the Kyoto Protocol until 2020.
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