Japan will oppose Kyoto extension at COP16

Kyodo News

Japan won’t agree to extend the Kyoto Protocol beyond 2012 even if that means isolating itself at the U.N. climate change talks next week in Cancun, Mexico, a senior Japanese negotiator said Thursday.

The remark underscores Tokyo’s determination to establish a “fair and effective” emissions-reduction framework in which all major emitters — including China and the United States — can participate as one to succeed the legally binding Kyoto pact.

“Even if the Kyoto Protocol’s extension becomes a major item on the agenda at Cancun and Japan finds itself isolated over it, Japan will not agree to it,” said Hideki Minamikawa, vice minister for global environmental affairs at the Environment Ministry.

“The biggest problem is that an agreement has not been reached on a framework in which all major emitters will participate,” Minamikawa said.

No such agreement is expected at the 16th Conference of Parties to the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP16), which kicks off Monday at the Mexican resort and lasts through Dec. 10.

Some countries, including China, are calling for provisionally extending the Kyoto pact.