Thank you Mr. Chairman.

I am speaking today as a member of Climate Justice Now!, a network of organizations and movements from across the globe committed to the fight for genuine solutions — local and global — to the climate crisis.

From the interventions from several Annex I countries in the past days, it is clear that some parties are deliberately trying to undermine even the limited achievements of the Kyoto Protocol.

What we are witnessing here is history repeating itself. We respectfully remind parties that in the original negotiations of the Kyoto Protocol countries endlessly accommodated the needs of particular parties, only to find that these same parties were, in the end, not willing to ratify.

We cannot allow this to happen again. The future of the climate negotiations — and indeed the future of people and the planet — cannot be held hostage to the politics and interests of one particular state. We cannot allow the political ambition of the international climate regime to be sabotaged by recalcitrant positions.

The time is now to face the fact that dangerous climate change is a real and imminent threat. Rather than lowering the level of ambition, this meeting should be setting its sights on achieving emissions reductions demanded by science and by the reality on the ground. The next commitment phase of the Kyoto Protocol must achieve legally binding emission reductions in Annex I countries with no offsets, and consider truly innovative possibilities that include avoiding the release of new emissions, for example by leaving fossil fuels underground.

Annex I countries agreeing to ambitious emission reductions in future commitment periods in the Kyoto Protocol will unlock LCA discussions about non Annex I actions based on the availability of appropriate financing. Because of the climate debt they owe, the responsibility here lies squarely with Annex I countries to act.

Renegotiating the form and principles of the Kyoto Protocol to allow for the needs of one country, that has been reticent to come on board for 13 years, will lead us to an outcome that falls far short of the bare minimum of what is required to ensure the lives and livelihoods of billions of people. This we cannot afford.

Climate Justice Now! calls upon parties not to repeat the negotiating mistakes and compromises of the past — and to face the future that hurtles towards us.

Thank you.

Janet Redman is co-director of the Sustainable Energy and Economy Network project at the Institute for Policy Studies.

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