December 10, 2010

Nations Look To Soften Japan’s Judgment On Kyoto Protocol

Nations launched a diplomatic assault on Japan in hopes of softening its resistance to the Kyoto Protocol.

About 20 world leaders are in line to phone Prime Minister Naoko Kan to ask for a change of stance on the issues discussed at this year's U.N. climate summit.

Japan's position is seen as the single biggest barrier that is keeping nations from striking a deal.

Japan is adamant it will not accept future cuts in carbon emissions under the 13-year-old Kyoto agreement.

However, many developing countries are equally determined that the protocol must continue.

Some Latin America nations want Bolivia, which is the most radical country in their region, to show more flexibility in negotiations.

Costa Rica said Bolivians were delaying the progress on key issues.

However, Bolivian President Evo Morales confirmed his status as the darling of the conference with a rousing speech punctuated by several rounds of applause and cheers.

"We came to Cancun to save nature, forests, planet Earth," he said.

"We are not here to convert nature into a commodity; we have not come here to revitalize capitalism with carbon markets."

"The climate crisis is one of the crises of capitalism."

Japan has for many months been saying it will not accept further emission cuts under the Kyoto Protocol.

It joined its opposition along with Russia, Canada and Turkey in public.

However, for many developing countries continuing the protocol is mandatory.  They like its legally-binding character, and the fact that it generates funds for clear development in poorer nations.

"If we throw the Kyoto Protocol in the rubbish bin, we will be guilty of ecocide and hence of genocide, because we are affecting humanity as a whole," said Morales in his speech.

Campaigners have suggested that Japan should be held accountable if the Kyoto issue does derail the talks here.

"It may be possible that if Japan keeps blocking the progress of these climate talks, and if they're seen to be undermining the UN process, it could start to threaten their hopes for a permanent seat on the UN Security Council," Joss Garman of Greenpeace UK told BBC.


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