Kyoto Love Letter Tries to Rekindle Romance at Climate Talks

Kyoto wants us back, but is the romance over?

Love affairs can lose their spark, and turn bittersweet, like the candy “Time for Climate Justice” is handing out at the climate talks in Cancun.

Has the international community fallen out of love with the Kyoto Protocol, the global climate agreement set to expire in 2012? Certainly some say it’s time to break up. Kyoto, agreed to in 1997 without U.S. support, committed 37 industrialized countries and the EU to reducing emissions from 2008-2012.

Some say the treaty should be extended, particularly if a broader agreement can’t be found in the near term.  Japan has had enough though and dropped a bombshell in recent days by saying it’s time to bring this relationship to an end.

In what’s been the biggest dust up in Cancun so far, developing countries (who aren’t subject to Kyoto’s carbon cuts) cried foul, and are insisting on continuing with Kyoto  at least, until something better is developed. Some are warning no agreements will go forward unless industrialized countries give their blessing to a second phase.

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Published: December 6, 2010