WASHINGTON - Government leaders in Montreal today (Saturday 10th December 2005) reached a
historic agreement on future action to tackle climate change. The Montreal
Action Plan (MAP) was concluded despite a last minute intervention from
Russia which almost resulted in deadlock.
Negotiators worked through Friday night to reach a progressive agreement
under the Kyoto Protocol, which will lead to deeper emissions cuts in the
next commitment period, which starts in 2013. This Kyoto deal initiates
crucial negotiations on legally binding targets for industrialised countries
and also sets in motion a wider review of the entire regime involving all
countries, due to be discussed at talks next year.
Agreement was also reached under the UN Framework Convention on Climate
Change (UNFCCC) despite the reluctance of the United States administration,
which put forward new text to weaken the deal.
Friends of the Earth International Vice Chair Tony Juniper said: "Despite Russia's attempt to wreck the deal, this meeting has made a
historic agreement which will strengthen global resolve with legally-binding
targets to take action to tackle climate change under the Kyoto Protocol.
It has sent a clear signal that the future lies in cleaner and more
sustainable technologies and is good news for people everywhere.
"We expected progress under the Convention, but the US administration
effectively forced the rest of the world to bend over backwards to keep them
on board. The result is a very weak deal."
Friends of the Earth International Climate Change Campaigner Catherine
"Scientific evidence clearly demands urgent action to cut the pollution that
is warming our world. The international community has wisely taken these
warnings seriously by agreeing to further action. This is a clear signal
that the Kyoto agreement is alive and well. Leaders have shown that
much-needed progress can be made. The Government of Canada deserves real
praise for the role it played in making the Montreal meeting a success."
Late night drama (Thursday) saw the United States delegation leave the
talks, in an effort to collapse negotiations under both the UN Framework
Convention and the Kyoto Protocol. On Friday further attempts to block
progress saw the United States delegation table new draft text, further
diluting the meaning of the deal.
But strong leadership from the Canadian President and clear resolve from
other countries, including Britain, Japan and major developing countries,
particularly Brazil and South Africa, made progress possible.
Countries signed up to the Kyoto Protocol (all major industrialised and
developing countries, except the USA and Australia) have agreed to ensure
new targets on cuts in greenhouse gas emissions will be in place to
immediately follow the first commitment phase in 2012.
Rules governing the Kyoto Protocol's operation (the Marrakesh Accords) were
agreed in Montreal, including the legally binding nature of the regime.
Countries also agreed to a review of both the Kyoto Protocol and Framework
Convention to start next year.
An agreement was also reached on reform of the "Clean Development Mechanism"
(the mechanism allowing industrialised countries to claim carbon credits by
investing in clean energy projects in the developing world). But concerns
remain about what this includes and what will be delivered.
Images of Friends of the Earth International's Climate Mosaic, on display
outside the Palais des Congres, can be downloaded at www.foei.org and