Press Statement. Russia and Ukraine block progress on climate action in Lima

Lima, 12 December 2014. As climate talks in Lima are approaching the final hours, countries cannot agree on how to deal with the backlog of hot air under the Kyoto Protocol, equalling 13 billion tonnes of CO2. An unholy alliance between the Ukraine, Belarus and Russia are blocking progress on the second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol, the essential foundation for climate action up to 2020.

One outstanding issue to be resolved in Lima is the so called “Doha Amendment” adopted in 2012 to deal with the large overhang of unused emission allowances issued under the first commitment period of the Kyoto protocol from 2008 to 2012. The adopted decision also includes safeguards to prevent the accumulation of new surplus allowances in the second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol from 2013 to 2020, but has not yet been ratified.

Countries with a large surplus of emission allowances, especially Russia, Ukraine and Poland have voiced concerns over how the decision was taken in Doha. They now block progress in fine-tuning the rules to address the overhang of allowances with the goal to sell them on the international carbon market.

“The Ukraine is hoping in vain to sell the surplus emission allowances. There is no country that actually wants or needs these hot air credits. It’s completely unclear why Ukraine shifted from its earlier position to support the EU’s approach and is now siding with Russia and blocks progress.” commented Maria Storchilo from the National Ecological Centre of Ukraine.

Until October 2014, the only Annex I Parties that accepted the Doha amendment are Norway and Monaco. In addition, 16 developing countries have currently provided an instrument of acceptance. However, a decision in Lima is needed to implement climate action from now until 2020.

“This decision is key for progress in Lima on pre-2020 action. We now need a signal from the European Union to swiftly ratify the Kyoto Protocol’s second commitment period regardless of attempts by the Ukraine, Russia and Belarus to block progress” commented Anja Kollmuss from Carbon Market Watch.

 ENDS

**** *** ****

Press contact:

Maria Storchilo, National Ecological Centre of Ukraine

Local number in Lima: +51 997 492204

Eva Filzmoser, Carbon Market Watch

Local number in Lima: +51 962 652 583