Kenyans Join International NGOs to Demand Extension of Kyoto Protocol.

By Charles Ogallo in Doha,Qatar.

Kenyan experts from the civil society have joined their colleagues across the globe in challenging developed nations to wake up to the realities of climate change and ensure unity and trust in tackling the global phenomenon by allowing second committed of the Kyoto Protocol.

At the opening of the UN climate Change conference in Doha, Qatar on Monday , the experts joined their
international colleagues from NGOs organized in the Climate Action Network (CAN) in accusing the industrialized countries among them US of being insensitive to the needs of millions of people facing the brunt of climate change.

They particularly criticized Japan and Canada for refusing to sign up to the Kyoto Protocol’s second commitment period.

Led by Dr. Bernard Okeyo, Executive director ECO –Ethic-Kenya, the environmentalists however called on US President Barack Obama and other world leaders believed to be ploting for death of  the Kyoto protocol to restart their international engagement in the interests of their citizens and millions of people around the globe.

They also called for countries both developed and least developing to make the ongoing Climate Change conference in Doha a success story in actions, ambition and equity, saying the Doha negotiations would present a turning point for the World in the war against Climate Change.

“Extreme effects of climate change have caught up with us, Cases of flooding, famine , droughts and diseases outbreaks have increased in every corner of our country, and something need to be done and done urgently to stop the mess” Said Okeyo.

Global Carbon Footprint
Tasneem Essop, International Climate Policy Advocate for WWF specifically, called not only for developed countries to sign on to second commitment period of the world's only legally binding climate treaty, the Kyoto Protocol, but for the nations involved to increase their emission reductions within the treaty and to close the loopholes that existed within it which would let 30 billion tonnes of carbon escape into the atmosphere.

Ms Tasneem added that developed countries also needed to increase their emissions reductions commitments as current pledges were so far inadequate to keep the temperature rise below 2 degrees as well as to lock in finance to support mitigation action by developing nations.

“While developing countries can take on more action, they can only do so if developed countries meet their commitments to provide finance,” she said.

Speaking also after the opening of the Doha Talks, Martin Kaiser, head of the Greenpeace delegation, said the way countries approached the Kyoto Protocol would set the tone for the talks.

“EU leaders need to reject pressure from the coal and oil industry, and strengthen its legal limitation of atmospheric pollution without loopholes,” he said.

However United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change UNFCCC Executive Secretary Christaina Figureas showed optimism in her opening speech where she asked the over 17, 000 delegates gathering for 18th session of conference of parties –COP18 at the Qatar International Conference Center in Doha to speed up the negotiations.

Spelling out the agenda of the COP18, the UNFCCC Chief said the Doha talks present a unique challenge to both the present and future under the Durban Platform for global response to climate change.

“The present way that ambition can be raised with necessary urgency and the future framework that will be applicable to all in a way that both ensure equity and response to the signs”

Abdullah Bin Hamad Al-Atttiyah currently the President of the 18th Session of Conference of Parties told participants at the opening that “climate change is a common challenge for humanity” and that the Conference was a “golden opportunity - we must make best use of it

Mr. Al-Attiyah who had earlier received strong criticism from across the global over fossil fuel production remarks emphasised Qatar’s continuing efforts as host country to foster an open, inclusive and transparent process.

The opening ceremony marked the official handover of the Presidency from South Africa to Qatar. Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, the COP17/CMP7 President, cited an African proverb highlighting the need for multilateral cooperation within the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.

“If you want to walk fast, walk alone. If you want to walk far, walk with others,” she said before the official election of Mr. Al-Attiyah as President of COP18/CMP8.

The annual international Climate change Conference runs from 26th November to 9th December with 194 nations, Kenya included represented.


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