COP19閉幕 国際協調で温暖化対策を前へ

The Yomiuri Shimbun November 26, 2013
Push ahead measures to tackle climate change with international cooperation
COP19閉幕 国際協調で温暖化対策を前へ(11月25日付・読売社説)

Due to the conflicting interests of developed and developing countries, including emerging economies, the just-concluded discussions on climate change made hardly any progress. The latest U.N. talks on the issue vividly demonstrated the difficulties facing the international effort to tackle global warming.

The 19th Conference on Climate Change (COP19) has ended in Warsaw. The participants extended the meeting by one day, managing to prevent it from breaking down.

A new greenhouse gas reduction framework to replace the Kyoto Protocol is to be implemented in 2020. By when should the participating countries submit their voluntary greenhouse gas emission targets for the years beyond 2020? As to this major point of contention, the participants agreed on a final draft of their joint communique that encourages their governments to present their targets in 2015.

While advanced countries had tried to put a specific process in motion to build a new framework, developing countries opposed specifying the timing. It can be said that both sides went as far as they could in reaching the agreement. The negotiations on a new framework have a tough road ahead.

Recent spates of climate catastrophes such as the occurrence of super typhoons are said to be caused by global warming. When the delegation from the Philippines, which was hit hard by Typhoon No. 30, appealed for an immediate increase in efforts to tackle global warming, the appeal won the sympathy of other countries.

Developing nations want help

While sharing a sense of crisis over global warming, developing countries repeatedly asserted that advanced countries should proactively support them because of their weak financial position. They did so because they believe the advanced countries are responsible for global warming, as they have emitted a massive amount of greenhouse gas with their industrial production.

Indeed, it will be necessary to extend a certain amount of support to developing countries that cannot afford to take measures to deal with environmental issues on their own.

On the other hand, we should not forget the reality that the total amount of emissions from developing countries as a whole has topped the total amount for advanced countries now. It was quite reasonable for advanced countries, including Japan, to call on developing countries to adopt the stance of reducing emissions on their own initiative.

In particular, such emerging economies as China—the world’s biggest emitter of greenhouse gas—need to assume their fair share of responsibility for reducing the emissions.

Environment Minister Nobuteru Ishihara emphasized at the COP19 conference that the new framework should be fair and effective and be applied to all countries. It is vital to firmly maintain this course of action.

At the conference, the Japanese government expressed its new goal of “reducing its domestic greenhouse gas emissions by 3.8 percent from the fiscal 2005 level by the end of fiscal 2020,” a target that drew criticism from other countries as being too low.

Yet the 3.8 percent cut is a numerical value set at a time when none of the nation’s nuclear power stations, which do not emit any carbon dioxide when generating electricity, are operating.

The government should expedite its efforts to work out a basic energy plan that specifies a future ratio of nuclear power generation. It is important for the government to raise the emissions reduction target by the end of 2020 based on such a basic plan and to make steady progress in setting a realistic target for the years beyond 2020.

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Nov. 25, 2013)
(2013年11月25日01時17分 読売新聞)

srachai について

early retired civil engineer migrated from Tokyo to Thailand
カテゴリー: 英字新聞 パーマリンク


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