December 30th Japan announced that it will abandon the Kyoto Protocol. Many climate negotiators felt that this as a threat to the progress needed at the UN climate talks in Cancun.
Kyoto Protocol is the only treaty that could tackle growing greenhouse gas emissions by rich countries. This historic treaty was, ironically, agreed to in Japan, which chaired the third Conference of the Parties under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in 1997.
According to Yuri Onodera, Friends of the Earth Japan: "Japan's move to drop out of the Kyoto treaty shows a severe lack of recognition of its own historical and moral responsibility. With this position, Japan isolates itself from the rest of the world. Even worse, this step undermines the ongoing talks and is a serious threat to the progress needed here in Cancun."
All rich countries, including Japan, should agree on cutting their emissions by at least 40 percent by 2020, without resorting to carbon offsetting, and commit to this under a second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol.There will be no excuse if they kill the Kyoto Protocol at this critical moment.