Letter: Now build on Kyoto

Share
Sir: The climate change treaty hammered out at Kyoto was a political breakthrough. For the first time, a statutory global protocol mandates industrial nations to cut emissions of the six main greenhouse gases within a definite period. Countries like the US, the world's worst climate polluter and implacably opposed to any such agreement beforehand, were forced to compromise.

But it's not nearly enough. To stabilise climate change and sea-level rise, protect vital forest and other life systems along with heavily populated coastal regions, cuts of between 60 and 80 per cent must be achieved within 50 years.

Next year is critical, for ratification and first-step implementation. The two are linked. The US Senate is threatening to veto the treaty, arguing it will be bad for the economy and that newly industrialising countries, like China and India, should agree their own cuts.

The UK has another vital leadership role to play to overcome these hurdles, by demonstrating that cutting emissions is good for the economy and people. Friends of the Earth, using EU economic forecasting models, has shown that meeting the UK's carbon dioxide reduction target of 20 per cent by 2010 can create up to 225,000 new jobs, through affordable domestic energy conservation measures, renewable supply (off-shore wind, wave, solar and combined heat and power) programmes, reducing traffic levels and building up a modern public transport network.

The Government must back the Road Traffic Reduction Bill before Parliament, and implement the policy, green taxation and public expenditure needed. As employment and profitable green technology export opportunities materialise for the UK and Europe, while emissions fall, the US and others will see it is worth following suit - or risk losing market share and competitiveness. Essential and much tougher reduction targets will then be easier to negotiate at future climate summits, using Kyoto's legal foundation.

CHARLES SECRETT

Director, Friends of the Earth

London N1

React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

PHP Developer - MySQL, RDBMS, Application Development

competitive: Progressive Recruitment: PHP Developer - MySQL, RDBMS, Applicatio...

SAP Business Analyst - Data Migration, £75,000, Manchester

£60000 - £75000 per annum + competitive: Progressive Recruitment: Senior SAP B...

SAP Data Migration Consultant, circa £65,000, Manchester

£55000 - £75000 per annum: Progressive Recruitment: Senior SAP Data Migration ...

SAP Data Migration Consultant, circa £65,000, Manchester

£55000 - £75000 per annum: Progressive Recruitment: Senior SAP Data Migration ...

Day In a Page

Read Next
The Lyceum Theatre in the West End  

The West End might be beating Broadway, but think about who it is that can afford to fill the seats

Rosie Millard
 

L’Unita: The venerable organ of Italian communism breathes its last

Peter Popham
Save the tiger: The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

With only six per cent of the US population of these amazing big cats held in zoos, the Zanesville incident in 2011 was inevitable
Samuel Beckett's biographer reveals secrets of the writer's time as a French Resistance spy

How Samuel Beckett became a French Resistance spy

As this year's Samuel Beckett festival opens in Enniskillen, James Knowlson, recalls how the Irish writer risked his life for liberty and narrowly escaped capture by the Gestapo
We will remember them: relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War

We will remember them

Relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War
Star Wars Episode VII is being shot on film - and now Kodak is launching a last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Kodak's last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Director J J Abrams and a few digital refuseniks shoot movies on film. Simon Usborne wonders what the fuss is about
Once stilted and melodramatic, Hollywood is giving acting in video games a makeover

Acting in video games gets a makeover

David Crookes meets two of the genre's most popular voices
Could our smartphones soon be diagnosing diseases via Health Kit and Google Fit?

Could smartphones soon be diagnosing diseases?

Health Kit and Google Fit have been described as "the beginning of a health revolution"
Ryanair has turned on the 'charm offensive' but can we learn to love the cut-price carrier again?

Can we learn to love Ryanair again?

Four recent travellers give their verdicts on the carrier's improved customer service
Billionaire founder of Spanx launches range of jeans that offers

Spanx launches range of jeans

The jeans come in two styles, multiple cuts and three washes and will go on sale in the UK in October
10 best over-ear headphones

Aural pleasure: 10 best over-ear headphones

Listen to your favourite tracks with this selection, offering everything from lambskin earmuffs to stainless steel
Commonwealth Games 2014: David Millar ready to serve up gold for his beloved Scotland in the end

Commonwealth Games

David Millar ready to serve up gold for his beloved Scotland in the end
UCI Mountain Bike World Cup 2014: Downhill all the way to the top for the Atherton siblings

UCI Mountain Bike World Cup

Downhill all the way to the top for the Atherton siblings
Save the tiger: The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The big cats kept in captivity to perform for paying audiences and then, when dead, their bodies used to fortify wine
A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery all included in top 50 hidden spots in the UK

A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery

Introducing the top 50 hidden spots in Britain
Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

How a disease that has claimed fewer than 2,000 victims in its history has earned a place in the darkest corner of the public's imagination
Chris Pratt: From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

He was homeless in Hawaii when he got his big break. Now the comic actor Chris Pratt is Hollywood's new favourite action star