Europe’s climate action chief has angrily accused the US and China of wanting to “backtrack” on global climate change talks and reverse the Durban agreement reached less than five months ago.
And with the Rio +20 summit being held next month, EU Commissioner for Climate Action Connie Hedegaard said Europe now stood alone in trying to keep the Kyoto Protocol alive.
Parties to the United Nation Framework Convention for Climate Change (UNFCCC) have been meeting in Germany over the last two weeks for its mid-year climate change talks.
But the summit in Bonn ended without agreement following a string of angry claims and counter-claims between rich nations, rapidly industrialising ones and those at threat from climate impacts.
The series of discussions was the first negotiating meeting since last December’s ministerial summit in Durban, South Africa.
The key outcome there was an agreement to begin talks leading to a new global deal involving all nations.
But yesterday, as the session finished, Commissioner Hedegaard accused the world’s largest emitters, including the US and China, of being “irresponsible” and “wasting too much energy in trying to move backwards rather than in securing progress”.
In a statement, she added: ”The European Union is almost the only player taking a second commitment period under the Kyoto Protocol and so keeping it alive.
“Because we believe climate change needs to be addressed in a legally-binding international framework, we are willing to do this, even when other major economies are at present only willing to enter into voluntary commitments.
“But – and it is a big but – we need other major economies and significant emitters to play ball. The world cannot afford that a few want to backtrack from what was agreed in Durban only five months ago. Durban was – and is – a delicately balanced package where all elements must be delivered at the same pace. It is not a pick and choose menu.
“It is very worrisome that attempts to backtrack have been so obvious and time-consuming in the Bonn talks over the last two weeks. Regrettably, only procedure, no substance was discussed.