REPRESENTATIVES of the Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS) have met with the New Zealand delegation at the Doha round of climate talks to discuss ways to secure agreement on a second phase of the Kyoto Protocol.
Last month New Zealand declared its intention not to be part of the Kyoto Protocol's second commitment period. For Fiji and member countries of AOSIS, establishing a second commitment period to the protocol is considered crucial in the fight against runaway climate change.
The AOSIS delegation was led by Nauru, as chair of the negotiating bloc, to hear reasons behind New Zealand's decision not to enter into another commitment period. Like AOSIS, Fiji wants the second commitment period to be for a length of five-years to avoid locking insufficient emission reduction targets and to facilitate the updating of mitigation commitments on the basis of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) 5th Assessment Report (5AR).
The Kyoto Protocol is an international agreement linked to the framework convention on climate change. Its major feature is that it sets binding targets for 37 industrialised countries and the European community for reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.
These reductions amount to an average of 5 per cent against 1990 levels over the five-year period from 2008 to 2012. New Zealand explained that while it would not join the second commitment period, its would remain a party to the protocol and "play by the Kyoto rules".