Press Release – Reserved optimism for the climate after Doha
11.12.2012, 14:36 (CET)
The extension of the commitments which stem from the Kyoto Protocol until 2020 was greeted by Cyprus’ Minister of Agriculture, Natural Resources and the Environment, Mr. Sofoclis Aletraris as a result which allows the pursuit of a more ambitious international action against climate change. Mr. Aletraris, who is also the chair of the Environment Council of the EU, was speaking in a press conference, on the occasion of the conclusion of the UN Climate Summit, in Doha, Qatar.

The Cypriot minister stated that both the Presidency of the Council of the EU and the European Commission believe that positive steps were taken in Doha. “The package of decisions taken provides a concrete basis to set higher goals for limiting the world greenhouse emissions,” Mr. Aletraris noted.

New summit in 2014

As sought by the EU, the outstanding round of climate negotiations was concluded at the Doha Summit.

“The road is now open for forming and adopting a legally binding agreement on climate in 2015, in which all countries will participate,” Mr. Aletraris said. “So too, is the road for identifying ways in which to achieve more ambitious targets in world emissions, something scheduled for 2020,” he added. Towards this end, a certain working programme was agreed and will enter into force from 2013 onwards. The UN Secretary General, Mr. Ban ki-Moon, intends to host a new high level summit in 2014, to inject political momentum into the process.

According to Mr. Aletraris, substantial results were also achieved on the new mechanisms to promote actions of mitigation and adjustment of greenhouse emissions rules. Furthermore, it was agreed that the instruments created during previous summit are activated, to start fulfilling their mission effectively.

Funding continued

“Concerning the funding of climate measures, the EU has proved in Doha that it’s on the right track to fulfil its obligation to provide 7,2 billion euros for the 2010-12 period,” Mr. Aletraris highlighted. In addition, the EU reassured its partner-developing countries that the climate funding will continue. The ENVI Council chair reminded the Doha Summit that the EU is the biggest provider of Official Assistance for Growth and funding climate actions in developing countries.

The agreement package regarding funding also encourages developed countries to keep the funding level for 2013-2015, at least at the average of recent years.

Another long demand of developing countries, especially of the small, island states, was addressed in Doha, after an agreement was achieved on institutional adjustments, such as an international mechanism to handle the losses and damages caused by climate change.

Kyoto’s second period

The Cypriot Environment Minister described the result of Doha as balanced. “It allowed the EU to reaffirm its commitment to take part in the second period of obligations of the Kyoto Protocol,” he said. The new period starts on January 1, 2013, and will last for eight years, thus assuring that there won’t be a gap between the expiration and the beginning of the new world pact, in 2020.

For this second period, the Union has taken up commitments to reduce its emissions by 20% by 2020, comparing to the levels of 1990. Additionally, the Union left the possibility open of increasing this target to 30%, if the appropriate conditions are formed.

Finally, Mr. Aletraris expressed his hope that “the next Summit, which will take place in Poland, will allow us to pursue and achieve better results, in order to accelerate and invigorate actions against climate change”.

Advisor, Communications Officer
Nikos Georgiades

Ministry of Agriculture, Natural Resources & Environment
E-mail: Ngeorgiades@moa.gov.cy
Téléphone: +357 22408324