By Christine Campeau, Climate Change and Food Security Advisor Palazzo San Calisto
We were greeted at the CancunMesse convention centre today with an offer to have our picture taken while standing in a heart, holding an ‘I love KP’ sign (KP is short for Kyoto Protocol). And we did. People lined up one by one to show their devotion for the legally binding treaty that is set to expire shortly.
This stunt in support of the Kyoto Protocol came in retaliation to the harsh statement made by Japan on Monday when it announced that it would ‘not inscribe its target under the Kyoto Protocol under any conditions or under any circumstances’. Yes, you heard it correctly.
The very same country that hosted the birth of the Treaty was now trying to kill all efforts of keeping it alive with a second commitment period. Japan’s hard stance on the first day of the negotiations upset many parties and created an unconstructive atmosphere for the negotiations that will take place through the next week.
As the flash from the camera went off and people sang love songs in the background, I sought out a strong shoulder to cry on. This ‘hope from a friend’ came from Brazil, a country who is showing true leadership by taking impressive measures to reduce their deforestation rate. Not only has this developing country already done what the most powerful industrial nations in the world promised to do in a decade or so, but it has also raised its goal of reducing its deforestation rate from ‘80% by 2020’ to ‘80% by 2016’. Thank you Brazil for showing true leadership and working towards a global common good while some other Parties (mentioned above) remain stuck in destructive, self-centered patterns.