Brazil Seeks to Extend Kyoto Protocol to 2020 Before Replacement

Photographer: Wolfgang von Brauchitsch/Bloomberg News.

Smoke stacks seen at an RWE coal power station near Cologne, Germany, Wednesday, March 31, 2004. The seven-year-old Kyoto Protocol comes into force today, binding 35 nations and the European Union to cut their emissions of greenhouse gases in an effort to combat global warming. Close

Smoke stacks seen at an RWE coal power station near Cologne, Germany, Wednesday, March... Read More

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Photographer: Wolfgang von Brauchitsch/Bloomberg News.

Smoke stacks seen at an RWE coal power station near Cologne, Germany, Wednesday, March 31, 2004. The seven-year-old Kyoto Protocol comes into force today, binding 35 nations and the European Union to cut their emissions of greenhouse gases in an effort to combat global warming.

Brazil will seek to extend by eight years until 2020 the Kyoto Protocol targets that bind developed countries to cuts in greenhouse-gas emissions, before replacing them with a wider agreement.

“It’s important to keep this format alive so that in the future this may be used for countries to respond to the climate crisis,” Luiz Alberto Figueiredo, Brazil’s envoy to United Nations climate talks, told reporters today. “We should have a second commitment period that will end in 2020. Well before that, negotiations should be held on the next step.”

Talks are deadlocked over a proposed second set of goals for the accord, whose measures exclude the three biggest emitters -- the U.S., which never ratified the deal, and India and China, considered developing nations. Russia, Canada and Japan refused to agree targets beyond 2012 under Kyoto, saying they will be ineffective without limits for the worst polluters.

The 27-nation European Union is ready to sign up as long as other major economies spell out when they will take action.

“It may well happen that the EU and some other countries will take the second commitment period forward,” Figueiredo said. “Some countries may choose not to participate in the second commitment period. It’s unfortunate.”

The period around a UN review of national action to fight climate change scheduled from 2013 to 2015, and a study on the science of global warming from the body’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change due by the end of 2014 will mark a “good time” to begin to look at post-2020 plans, he said.

Binding Targets?

Figueiredo declined to say whether Brazil would accept binding emissions targets after 2020, saying only that the country’s actions should be based on the principle of “common, but differentiated responsibilities.” That indicates developed nations should take proportionately greater action because they are responsible for the bulk of historical emissions.

“We are playing our part,” Figueiredo said. “We have committed to a very ambitious objective, a voluntary one, in terms of what we will do until 2020. This commitment came into law in my country. The pressure is not exactly on us.”

Brazil has committed to cut emissions 36.1 percent to 38.9 percent below projected levels in 2020 and set domestic targets for curbs on deforestation in its Amazon and Cerrado regions.

To contact the reporter on this story: Alex Morales in London at amorales2@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Reed Landberg at landberg@bloomberg.net

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