Rich nations owe more to combating global climate change - Brazil
By Brian Winter
NEW YORK (Reuters) - Major emerging economies' obligations to cut emissions under a climate change agreement should not be the same as those of rich countries, Brazil's chief negotiator said, signalling a retreat to an old position that has hamstrung years of U.N. negotiations.
Ambassador Luiz Alberto Figueiredo Machado told Reuters during last week's U.N. General Assembly that Brazil is committed to working toward a global pact to cut emissions in both developed and developing nations as agreed at last year's climate talks in Durban, South Africa.
But Figueiredo said that agreement should adhere to the U.N.'s principle of "common but differentiated responsibilities," a line between developing and developed countries drawn in 1992 that enabled countries such as Brazil, China and India to escape mandatory carbon cuts, which the Durban summit had supposedly eliminated.
"Different countries would have different contributions in this fight against climate change, and these different contributions have to do with a number of factors of national circumstances," Figueiredo said, referring mainly to the belief that rich countries are responsible for "generating the problem."
The so-called BASIC bloc (Brazil, South Africa, India and China) in the U.N. climate negotiations stressed the point at a joint meeting in Brasilia last week to harmonize their position for the next round of negotiations in Doha, Qatar, which begin next month.
An agreement is to be formalized by 2015 and to take effect by 2020.
BUT WHOSE OBLIGATIONS?
The United States never ratified the Kyoto Protocol, the 1992 U.N. treaty that legally bound only developed countries to emission reduction targets because it did not place any obligations on the fast-growing economies, which are also major greenhouse gas emitters. Continued...