KYOTO PROTOCOL:  WHAT'S  THERE TO CELEBRATE?

MANILA, March 8, 2006
 (STAR) By Antonio M. Claparols - While many are celebrating the Kyoto Protocol recently other are finding cause for grave concern.

The Kyoto Protocol’s attempt to create "carbon dioxide-saving projects" in poorer countries is meanwhile stirring protests from Brazil to South Africa. Such projects - which include industrial tree plantations and schemes to burn off landfill gas - are designed so big emitters in the rich north can go on using fossil fuels. But they usurp land or water ordinary people need for other purposes.

"We’re creating some sort of ‘climate apartheid’ wherein the poorest and darkest-skinned pay the highest price with their health, their land, and, in some cases with their lives for continued carbon profligacy in the rich," says Soumitra Ghosh of the National Forum of Forest Peoples and Forest Workers in India.

Worse, such carbon dioxide-saving projects don’t work. "Even in purely economic terms, a market in credits from carbon- saving projects will fail," says Jutta Kill of Sinkwatch, a British-based watchdog. organization " You simply can’t verify whether a power plant’s emissions can be ‘compensated for’ by a tree plantation or other project.

The 1997 climate treaty not only fails to cut greenhouse gas emissions enough to avert climate catastrophe, but also steals from the poor to give to the rich. These were the observations of a coalition of non-government organizations (NGOs), the Durban Group, and environmental activists, communities, scientists and economists from around the world concerned about the climate crisis.

The Kyoto Protocol must reduce their emissions at 5.2% below 1990 levels by 2008-2012. However, the group, noted, the scientific community has called for global reductions of over 60percent below 1990 levels.

What’s more the carbon trading promoted by the protocol hands northern governments and corporations lucrative tradable rights use of the earth’s natural carbon-cycling capacity, effectively stealing a public good away from most of the planets inhabitants.


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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