By Makereta Komai for Climate Pasifika in Panama
04 October 2011 --- The Group of 77 and China says political will is a must if Durban is to produce a legally binding climate change deal.
“We are ready to negotiate and to produce actual texts in both tracks, but only on such a basis that respects our position as well as others. The elements are in place, we now have to translate this into an express political commitment from the developed countries, said Argentina’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations and chair of the Group of 77 and China, Ambassador Jorge Arguello.
The Group of 77 and China, comprising 131 and one of the powerful negotiating blocs in climate change negotiations says the basis for any fruitful negotiations must include: the preservation of the Convention and the Kyoto Protocol, in keeping with the Bali road map and the two tracks of negotiation agreed.
And key to the negotiations is the second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol, said Ambassador Argüello.
It urges all parties to respect their obligations and agreements under this multilateral framework.
“The defense of multilateralism must go beyond words, this is a tool that has proved beneficial to all humanity and, definitively, to developing countries.
“Much as some rich countries like to repeat that discussing scenarios that they oppose is not "realistic" or "practical", they must recognize that there is no point in insisting on a solution outside of the Kyoto Protocol when 132 parties have strongly declared they can only accept a second commitment period as a meaningful outcome.
“I think most parties understand by now that a second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol is key for any positive outcome we can expect in Durban. I had the chance to update the incoming President of COP17 on the thinking of our Group and our firm commitment to that end, said the group chair.
On Monday, Ambassador Arguello met with the Foreign Minister of South Africa, Maite Nkoana-Mashabane. Minister Nkoana-Mashabane is in Panama to participate in the meeting in her capacity as incoming president of the 17th Conference of Parties (COP17) which would take place in Durban later this year.
“We have had a very productive and positive meeting,” said Ambassador Argüello.
“I am very encouraged by the determination of the Minister to help all parties work towards a meaningful outcome in Durban, even in the short time we have, said Ambassador Arguello.