African nations that staged a five-hour walkout during negotiations at the Climate Change Conference at Copenhagen have returned to the table, according to the BBC. African nations accused industrial nations of attempting to throw out the Kyoto Protocol.
“The vast majority [of countries] want to see a continuation of the Kyoto Protocol,” UN Climate Chief Yvo de Boer said. “This is not just an African concern.”
Developing countries have stated that the Kyoto Protocol must be preserved after it expires in 2012. The Protocol puts the responsibility of climate change and of emission cuts squarely on the shoulder of wealthy industrialized nations.
Industrialized nations, however, have pushed to replace the Kyoto Protocol after 2012, arguing that many of the world’s largest greenhouse gas emitters, such as China, India, Brazil, and Indonesia, are not required to cut emissions under the Kyoto Protocol.
Some developing nations have argued for a twin track, whereby wealthy nations currently under the Protocol would remain while the United States (never a signatory of Kyoto) and big emerging economies would sign a new treaty. Developing nations have repeatedly said that their Danish hosts have ignored their concerns.
Some officials from the developed world have complained that the walkout was simply a waste of time. Canada’s Environment Minister, Jim Prentice, called the walkout “not very helpful” according to The Canadian Press. Over 100 world leaders are set to arrive on Friday to lend their support to the final agreement.
The Kyoto Protocol was signed in 1997.
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