Agreement in Marrakech keeps Kyoto Protocol alive

Parties to the UN Climate Change Convention agreed the mechanics of its implementation following extensive negotiations over a two-week period in Marrakech. The agreement, reached on November 10 opens the way for governments to ratify the Protocol beginning next year.

The deal came about only after last-minute concessions by the European Union to Russia, Japan, Australia, and Canada and although the noises from the officials suggest the conference was a success, privately many negotiators and environmentalists are furious.

By far the biggest winner in Marrakech was Russia. With the United States having rejected the treaty, Russia's participation became essential. The treaty cannot go into force unless at least 55 countries that emit 55 per cent of the world's greenhouse gases ratify the accord. With the US, which accounts for roughly a quarter of global greenhouse-gas emissions, out of the picture, Russia holds the key to reaching the 55 per cent target.

Aware of its strong position, Moscow drove a hard bargain and got what it wanted. Just before the conference got underway, Russia demanded that its credit for storing carbon in sinks (forests and agricultural lands) be raised to 34 million metric tons, twice the amount allotted it under the Bonn Agreement adopted last July. Despite repeated assurances by Olivier Deleuze, the EU's chief delegate at the talks, that the Bonn Agreement would not be reopened, the EU gave in to the Russian demand.

In the end, the Russians got the best of both worlds: They became a major player in the Kyoto process and did so be extracting a concession that will lessen the treaty's economic burden on their country.

Japan, another heavyweight at Marrakech, walked away with a concession on the thorny issue of compliance. Tokyo strongly objects to the emissions-reductions targets laid down in the Kyoto Protocol being "legally binding." At COP-7, the Japanese succeeded in getting resolution of the issue put off until the treaty has gone into force. After that, ratifying nations will vote on the issue at the COP/MOP, a mopping up session to be held sometime after the World Summit on Sustainable Development set for Johannesburg in September 2002.

The goal of the COP-7 negotiations at Marrakech was to develop a "rulebook" showing how the treaty is to be implemented. It has long been recognized, even by the treaty's supporters, that the climate pact adopted at Kyoto four years ago was so vaguely worded that it meant many things to many people. It was one thing to require industrialized nations to reduce their emissions of greenhouse gases to specified targets by 2008-2012. It was quite something else to figure out how this was to be done in a manner equitable to the industrialized nations covered under the pact.

Though the treaty's supporters in Marrakech still expressed the hope that the US can be brought back into the Kyoto fold, the American delegation at COP-7 left no doubt that, for Washington, the global warming pact is not an option. Paula Dobriansky, under-secretary of state for global affairs, said the US was looking for a global solution to climate change, one that would be a "tapestry" of national and regional measures, rather than the single worldwide system provided by the Kyoto Protocol.

Describing the outcome of the negotiations, the editor of Earth Negotiations Bulletin puts it this way - "It remains to be seen whether Marrakech will be remembered for its wisdom and moderation in providing the first steps for a multilateral response to climate change, or whether it will be remembered for the belligerent bargaining tactics that many believe have unduly undermined the environmental integrity of the Kyoto Protocol."

171 governments and a total of some 4500 participants attended the Marrakech conference, which is the seventh session of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention (COP 7). COP 8 will be held in October 2002 in India.

Follow Power Engineering International on Twitter




Editor's Picks

CCS

Exit by utilities from EU CCS project 'a matter of great concern'

A decision by four of Europe’s largest utilities to opt out of a decade long carbon capture and storage (CCS) project is &...
Chinese yen on fire

Chinese city burning money to generate electricity

A power plant in Luoyang, Henan in China is generating power through the burning of bank notes.

Vincent De Rivaz

De Rivaz confident on Hinkley despite Areva problems

Vincent De Rivaz, chief executive of EDF, Reassured the audience at the Nuclear Industry Association’s annual conference t...
Peterhead power plant, which experienced start-up issues last week

One in ten UK power plants suffer ‘issues’ during start-up

The recent mixed results from National Grid's Supplementary Balancing Reserve (SBR) has much to do with the ageing profile...
Kangdong Thermal Power Plant

Coal-fired power plant under construction in North Korea

The North Korean government is attempting to address its chronic power shortage problems through the construction of a coa...

PEI Magazine Issues



>> Current Issue           >> Past Issues

Latest Wire News

Con Edison to Report 2014 Earnings on February 19

Con Edison to Report 2014 Earnings on February 19

New Jersey Residents Are Invited to the 1st Energy Resiliency Next Generation Forum on Tuesday, January 27 at Mercer Oaks in Princeton Junction From 6-8 pm

New Jersey Residents Are Invited to the 1st Energy Resiliency Next Generation Forum on Tuesd...

Tinius Olsen Launches New ST Series - Advanced Electromechanical Universal Testing Machines

Tinius Olsen Launches New ST Series - Advanced Electromechanical Universal Testing Machines

BTJ Consulting LLC President & Founder Michael Hanberry to Be Interviewed on Clear Channel - iHeart Business Talk Radio's "The Trader's Network" on January 24th, 2015

BTJ Consulting LLC President & Founder Michael Hanberry to Be Interviewed on Clear Channel -...

Magnum Hunter Resources Schedules Conference Call to Discuss Macro Events Affecting the Energy Sector and Company Specifics

Magnum Hunter Resources Schedules Conference Call to Discuss Macro Events Affecting the Ener...


Editorial Guides

How to cut your OPEX

How to cut your OPEX In a constantly evolving electricity market, factors such as over capacity and low coal costs can pu...

Alstom Editorial Guide: Thailand to showcase latest upgrade of Alstom's GT26 in combined-cycle

Read all about Alstom's new advanced GT26 gas turbine in the North Bangkok CCPP expansion project online with the Power En...

PLEXOS® Integrated Energy Model – Leading the Field in Energy Market Modelling

PLEXOS® Integrated Energy Modelling is an advanced software tool that employs the latest mathematical programming methods ...

Buyers Guide Companies

ComRent International LLC

Offers rentals, sales, and services of load banks for testing generators...

Advanced Energy

Advanced Energy is a global leader in innovative power and control techn...

Fluid Energy Controls Inc

ACOEM AB

ACOEM is a supplier of Fixturlaser's innovative and user-friendly equipm...

CCI Thermal Technologies Inc

A leader in the development and manufacturing of industrial heating and ...

AKG of America Inc

AKG is a worldwide design leader and manufacturer of high performance co...

Acromag Inc

CU Services LLC

Manufactures plug resistant orifices for steam line drains, recirculatio...

FLSmidth Inc

Designs and supplies pneumatic conveying systems for power, cement, and ...

Frenzelit North America Inc

Frenzelit manufactures fabric, rubber, and metallic expansion joints. F...

Buyers Guide Products

Bore Measurement

Typical applications are full bore measure...

Fixturlaser NXA Pro

This laser alignment system features many ...

Expansion Joints

Braden Exhaust Expansion Joints provide a ...

PARTS & FILTERS

Braden is uniquely qualified to provide ou...

Exhaust Systems

Leader in Exhaust Bypass, Simple Cycle, Ex...

HydroJet®-Retractable Boiler Cleaning System

A major breakthrough in furnace water clea...

IK-700® - Retractable Sootblower

Designed specifically for low maintenance,...

RETROFIT

Braden's retrofit strengths are divided in...

Air Filtration

Braden filtration offers a wide range of f...

Spare parts manufacturing / Re-engineering / CNC / CMM / Machining / workshop service

CMM/laser scanning technology (workshop, r...

Power Engineering International

Whitepapers

Understanding Moisture Dynamics in Power Transformers

In this webinar recording "Moisture Dynamics in Power Transformers" (held originally in September 23, 2014) you will have a chance to learn about the phenomena and its importance to your ...

How to lower your total cost of ownership on DC Control Power

In this whitepaper, we look at implementing battery management solutions and how smart battery management effectively lowers the total cost of DC Control power systems and the risk of their failure...

Portfolio Optimization by PLEXOS

To achieve Portfolio Optimization, PLEXOS performs the Security Constrained Unit Commitment and Economic Dispatch using Mixed Integer Programming (MIP) to minimize a cost function subject to all op...

Evaluating cogeneration for your facility: A look at the potential energy-efficiency, economic and environmental benefits

The energy-efficiency, economic and environmental benefits of cogeneration are the subject of this in-depth white paper. The paper argues that producing electricity and heat/cooling from the same f...

The Effect of Moisture on the Breakdown Voltage of Transformer Oil

Power transformers utilize oil as a heat transfer medium and a dielectric material, together with cellulose. Breakdown voltage (dielectric strength) is one of the most important parameters of trans...

Improving Mission Critical Cooling Systems With More Reliable Level Sensing

The choice of coolant level sensor may seem like an insignificant detail when designing complex machinery such as emergency generators and cranes, but if this sensor fails, the operator has no warn...

Steps Towards a Low Carbon Future: Solutions and Technologies That Will Support the Global Revolution Required

A smart grid is becoming more and more essential as clean energy becomes more dominant. In addition, the demand for electricity is expected to treble the ability to supply it over the next decade. ...

Latest Digital Edition

  Power
  Engineering
  International
Look Inside >
Cover
Current Issue

Article Archives for Power Engineering International Magazine

Latest Energy Jobs

View more Job Listings >>