Official delegates from Armenia, Belarus, Kyrgyzstan, and Kazakhstan share their expectations for the COP17 climate talks
Aram Gabrielyan, Armenia:
What everyone is debating here is not the climate, but the specific interests of countries that more often than not stand in conflict with the world’s global interest in protecting the climate system. Until the entire [negotiations and agreements] system is changed drastically, all the economic approaches, all these decisions will have little effect. So I don’t have any special expectations. I think there will most likely be a decision to extend the [Kyoto Protocol], but probably without specific figures. Extending it would make sense if only to ensure a legally binding document that makes the existing mechanisms ([Joint Implementation, Clean Development Mechanism]) available doesn’t lapse – to ensure that it doesn’t lapse until something principally new is devised and agreed upon.
Alexander Grebenkov, Belarus:
No one is doubting that no major breakthrough is going to be achieved in the negotiations, either under [the Kyoto Protocol, AWG-KP*] or under [the Convention, AWG-LCA**]. Hopefully, as any achievements go, I believe one will be if the current negotiations result in agreements reached by the Parties as decisions on issues that they were close to settling but failed to see through to the end [at the 2010 UNFCCC talks] in Cancun. With regard to AWG-KP, the Parties are still clarifying their own positions and seeking clarifications on the others’ positions, involving, for the most part, the arguments they have used before. Nothing new is happening, as precise [commitment] figures remain one of the most critical issues: Annex I Parties seem to have exhausted their potential for assuming more ambitious commitments, and developing nations will not allow themselves to agree with this. As for AWG-LCA, we can expect the Parties to prepare texts of decisions on those issues where the working group had been instructed directly by the UNFCCC inCancun. In particular, countries with transition economies are currently working to see the decision draft proposed inCancunapproved by the Parties during this current session.
* Ad hoc Working Group on further commitments for Annex I Parties under the Kyoto Protocol
**Ad hoc Working Group on Long-term Cooperative Action under the Convention
Nurzat Abdurasulova, Kyrgyzstan:
Kyrgyzstan is hoping that the Durban talks will result in the adoption of comprehensive mechanism packages based on the agreements reached in Cancun and [at the 2009 UNFCCC talks] in Copenhagen. We support the statement made by Tajikistanon the first day of the negotiations on behalf of the Group of Mountain Landlocked Developing Countries that adaptation to climate change and capacity building remain key issues for our countries. As for the issues that are currently the subject of intense consultations – providing assistance via the UN Green Climate Fund and enhancing the efficiency of the Adaptation Fund – we hope specific mechanisms and [financing] channels will be defined and agreed upon. Kyrgyzstansupports the second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol for the next five years and is ready for further cooperation in the effort to reach a [new] global emissions reduction deal.
Kanat Baigarin, Kazakhstan:
Right now progress is contingent on the individual positions taken by different countries.Kazakhstandoes not intend to use this process for “freeloading.” We have made the decision to join the Convention’s Annex I under the Kyoto Protocol, we have assumed voluntary obligations and are fulfilling them, we have passed laws on energy efficiency and renewable energy, adopted a Low-Carbon Development Strategy, and we are developing a national carbon trading system. All this testifies toKazakhstan’s commitment to being a responsible participant of the climate process.
At this point, it’s difficult to predict which agreement model will be chosen. Our idea is for a more proactive, business-oriented, pragmatic one. We are ready to accept any scenario: If the [Kyoto Protocol] gets extended, we will join it, and should a different model be adopted, our plans to implement our low-carbon policies will not change.
“Below 2C”, Russian non-governmental observers’ newsletter at the UN climate talks, issue 51