South African leaders, and more specifically the Department of Environmental Affairs are starting to make noises about post-Kyoto rules. It looks as if someone is realising that we have a global responsibility:
...increasingly, developing countries like ourselves will be expected, and should be expected, to take our fair share of responsibility and demonstrate our plans to contribute to the global response, albeit in a differentiated way that recognises our growth imperative and our small contribution thus far to the current crisis.
But then, further in the article it becomes clear that we talk about a very specific form of responsibility, one that follows the example of others and one that needs a little support:
In term of reducing emissions a strengthened Kyoto regime must weave together three strands:
* much more ambitious emission reduction targets for all developed countries,
* re-engagement of the USA and Australia in internationally agreed and binding emission reduction targets under Kyoto (the USA and Australia are two developed countries and large emitters who have not ratified the Kyoto Protocol),
* greater recognition of, and incentives for developing country mitigation action.
Given the idea that emission reductions today will only really benefit us a few decades later, the question arises how adaptation to the effects of climate change will be weaved into such a proposed post-Kyoto regime. The article mentioned that such a regime ...needs to balance the international response on mitigation, in other words reducing emissions, with credible and predictable support for adaptive activities in the face of inevitable climate impacts, but it is not clear whether this will be a specific focus point in the discussions.
So what's the bottom line? More of the same and this time we want to have a bigger share of CDM.
Did someone mention adaptation?