US Says No To Kyoto Protocol

New Delhi, October 24: | Updated: Oct 25 2002, 05:30am hrs
In a major setback to Indias efforts to build a consensus at the ongoing Conference of Parties (COP-8) to United Nations Conference on Climate Change, the major pollutor, United States on Thursday refused to ratify the Kyoto Protocol which calls for the reduction of Green House Gas (GHG) emissions.

Addressing a press conference here, the senior US climate negotiator, Harlan Watson said, The Kyoto Protocol is only an action on paper, We cannot meet the commitment targets.

Signing the Kyoto Protocol would impinge on US economy, he said adding any measure which hurts the US economy will have global ripples.

Watson announced that US will participate in the next COP session as an observer and not as a party to the Kyoto Protocol.

However, our country was committed to work with other nations, especially developing countries, for reducing GHG emissions and provision of clean tech through bilateral agreements, Mr Watson said.

During the next years, US would take measures to reduce GHG intensity by 18 per cent and spend $450 million annually on renewable energy, $900 million on improvement of transport sector besides investment of $1.3 billion for climate technologies, he added.

Kyoto protocol envisages reduction of GHG emissions by 5.2 per cent by 2012, to bring it below the 1990 levels.

Listing out the support it was extending for the cause, particularly to the developing world, Watson said the United States in its 2003 budget supports significant funding for science and technology, research, development and transfer through bilateral international initiatives on climate change which run into several million dollars.

Watson said, over the past year the US was engaged in bilateral partnerships with several countries including India, China, Japan, EU, Australia, Canada and several central American countries as it is committed to address the issue of climate change effectively.

He said US would invest $47 billion in 10 years for conservation on its farms and forest lands for creating carbon sinks.

This partnership with farmers and small landowners will help protect land, water and air, secure and enhance wildlife, and greatly expand opportunities to store significant quantities in trees and the soil as well as promote other activities to mitigate GHG emissions, he said.

Meanwhile, the European Union has announced that it would go ahead with the implementation of Kyoto Protocol even as the US stood by its earlier stand to stay out.